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Portugal readies for abortion demand

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

This week's Portuguese referendum vote supporting government plans to legalise abortion (up to 10 weeks' pregnancy) will create a demand of at least 40,000 operations per year in the country. This is the number of women that, it is estimated, currently go abroad to undergo the procedure, mainly in Spain; others were having the termination performed in Portugal illegally, often in non-clinical "back-street" settings and risking a three-year jail sentence. Abortion was legal only in a limited number of situations, such as serious foetal malformation or serious risk to the mother's health. A 1998 referendum narrowly failed to overturn the law.

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