by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2007
Lisbon, Portugal (LifeNews.com) — A Portuguese pro-life group says it’s ready to join Catholic church leaders to lobby the nation’s parliament to reject a bill the government plans to sponsor that would legalize abortion.
Portugal officials said they would introduce the measure after voters rejected a ballot effort to make abortions legal within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
The Accao Familia organization said that pro-life advocates must continue to "stop those who are trying to impose a new morality on society."
Portuguese voters backed the abortion referendum on a 59 to 41 percent margin but it didn’t take effect because only 44 percent of the country turned out to vote. More than half had to participate for the vote to count.
Examined another way, just 26.2 percent of Portuguese voters backed legalizing abortion.
However, Prime Minister Jose Socrates, the head of the country’s ruling Socialist government says it will pursue a bill in parliament to legalize abortion.
The pro-life group sent a statement to Zenit condemning Socrates and the government.
"The determination shown by the prime minister and by the Socialist Party to take the issue of the liberalization of abortion to Parliament, despite the nonbinding character of the referendum, reveals the fact that the governmental majority is hostage of a radical ideological minority," it said.
Accao Familia said the Socrates’ government was "trying to impose on the country legal norms that [overturn] the basis of society’s Christian morality."
Zenit said the association appealed to these people "to continue to mobilize, now more than ever, to stop the stratagems of those who are trying to impose a new morality on society."
A leading pro-life group in the United States previously told LifeNews.com it condemned the move as well.
"Sadly for the women and unborn children of Portugal, Prime Minister Socrates has promised to push and promote pro-abortion legislation through Portugal’s Parliament," said Raimundo Rojas, NRLC Hispanic Outreach Director.
"With the support of international pro-abortion groups, he is determined to see that abortion on demand is the law of the land in Portugal," Rojas added.
Portugal is one of only four countries in Europe — the others are Ireland, Poland and Malta — that have laws protecting unborn children from abortion.