[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 13:14 GMT
Portuguese MPs vote for abortion
Pro-choice campaign billboards
The Yes campaign was opposed by the Catholic Church
Portugal's parliament has voted to legalise abortion on demand, after a referendum failed to settle the issue in the mainly Catholic country.

The bill allows the procedure until the 10th week of pregnancy.

Last month 60% of voters backed the measure in a referendum, but the result was voided because of a low turnout.

To become law, the bill must be signed by President Cavaco Silva. Currently abortions are allowed only in cases of rape or of a health risk to the mother.

The legalisation of abortion was supported in parliament by the ruling Socialists, the Communists, the Left Bloc and the Greens. It was opposed by the centre-right Social Democrats and the conservative Popular Party.

Portugal will join a majority of European Union states where abortion is legal. It is banned only in Ireland, Malta and Poland.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Reform supporters celebrate the result



SEE ALSO
Portugal will legalise abortion
12 Feb 07 |  Europe
Country profile: Portugal
09 Jan 07 |  Country profiles
Portuguese abortion vote denied
29 Oct 05 |  Europe

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific