In Portugal, abortion proponents are upset over a new pro-life bill that requires women to receive counseling prior to an abortion and pay for it themselves. In 2007, Portugal lawmakers passed a bill that allowed women to receive state-funded abortions until the 10th week of pregnancy.
However, World Magazine reports that the new law requires women to pay up to $55 to have an abortion. Pro-lifers believe the counseling portion of the law is important because women should know all their options before making the irreversible decision to have an abortion.
One pro-abortion lawmaker, Green MP Heloisa Apolonia, said that the law was created to embarrass women who want abortions. She said, “The final session of the legislature was exploited… to humiliate Portuguese women.” Carlos Abreu Amorim, a member of Social Democrats, disagreed and said the changes are “not a question of removing the right to abortion, but to improve the conditions in which women take these difficult decisions.” Currently, the pro-life legislation is awaiting the president’s approval.
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Portugal is seen as a pro-life country because of its large Catholic population but abortion activists say that legalizing abortion will make the country better and safer for women. However, studies from the MELISA Institute prove otherwise. In countries where abortion is completely illegal, like Chile and El Salvador, maternal mortality rates are lower than ever.
As LifeNews previously reported, Dr. Elard Koch, the Director of Research of the MELISA Institute says that since Chile banned abortion in 1989, the number of maternal deaths has decreased from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 women. Dr. Koch believes that the data “suggests that support programs directed to vulnerable women can prevent most induced abortions.”
He adds, “The Chilean experience represents a paradox in our times: even under a less permissive abortion legislation, maternal health indicators can be significantly improved by other factors, including a noteworthy reduction in mortality and morbidity associated to abortion.”
Chile is also considered a world leader in maternal health. Dr. Kock explains, “The high quality of Chilean vital statistics indicates these findings are unlikely to be the result of an artifact of the registry system. Rather, a decrease in hospital discharges due to complications from illegal abortion appears to explain virtually all the reduction in hospital discharges due to any type of abortion in Chile during the last decade. Not only are women not seeking abortions outside proper healthcare facilities, the number of women seeking abortions is declining.”