Portugal Does 526 Abortions Since Parliament Legalized Them in July

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Portugal Does 526 Abortions Since Parliament Legalized Them in July Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 24,
2007

Lisbon, Portugal (LifeNews.com) — A new report from the National Health Service of the government of Portugal finds that 526 abortions have been done since the nation’s parliament approved a law legalizing them. That law took effect in July and, shortly thereafter, a large abortion business in Spain built a new abortion facility in the nation’s capital.

The new law allowing abortions up to 10 weeks into the pregnancy went into effect on July 15 despite a small percentage of Portuguese citizens voting for it.

According to the figures, Lisbon and Oporto, the nation’s two largest cities, reported the highest number of abortions. Together, abortions done there combined for 75 percent of the total number done nationwide.

The government’s health service reported 284 abortions on women from Lisbon, another 117 in Oporto, and 83 on women in central Portugal.

In Alentejo, 19 women had abortions and 23 women from Algarve had them.

At the end of July, an abortion practitioner from Spain opened the first private abortion business in Portugal.

When abortion was illegal in the largely Catholic nation, Portuguese residents often went to Spain to have abortions at the facility run by Yolanda Hernandez.

Now, the owner of an abortion business for three decades has opened a new center in Portugal. The new business is located on top of a hill on the important Lisbon thoroughfare Avenida da Liberdade and is called Dos Arcos.

The abortion center cost $4 million to build and staff and is part of a chain of abortion businesses Hernandez owns across the border in Spain that, she claims, has done as many as 10,000 abortions on Portuguese women.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, the new abortion center already has a staff of 22 people and is already quickly filling up appointments for abortions.

Hernandez says the abortion facility is needed because numerous doctors have refused to do abortions.

Several public hospitals have already indicated they will not do them either because no doctors on staff will do abortions, even though the law requires the medical centers to make them available.

Hernandez told the newspaper that it will take some time for abortion to be accepted in Portugal and for women to come to her new facility because of the stigma associated with getting an abortion.

Some 58 percent of those voting said they favored making abortion legal but the vote didn’t count because half of the European nation’s voters needed to participate. Examined another way, just 26.2 percent of Portuguese voters backed legalizing abortion.

The ballot vote was the second time Portuguese voters turned back an initiative to legalize abortion.

With Portugal’s legalizing abortion, Poland, Ireland and Malta are the lone nations on the continent to have pro-life laws prohibiting abortions.