Three Women Stand Trial for Abortion in Portugal

Three Portuguese women are standing trial for allegedly undergoing illegal abortions. According to Agence France Presse, two 26-year-old women are being accused of having illegal abortions, and their midwife is being charged for performing the abortions.

Portugal’s abortion laws are very restrictive. In Portugal a woman can receive an abortion up to her 12th week only in cases of rape, a malformed fetus, or if the woman’s health is in serious danger. Women who are found guilty of undergoing an abortion face up to three years in prison, and a person found guilty of performing the operation faces up to eight years, reports Agence France Presse.

Earlier this year, 17 people, including seven women who were accused of undergoing illegal abortions in Portugal, were acquitted of breaking Portugal’s strict abortion laws. Portugal and Ireland are the two countries in the European Union with the most restrictive abortion policies.

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Agence France Presse 6/15/04; Feminist Daily News Wire 2/18/04

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