Deputy Cristina Rodrigues (ex-PAN – People, Animals and Nature Party), proposes that Portugal should increase the legal period for voluntary termination of a pregnancy from ten to sixteen weeks, aligning Portugal with other countries, and creating legislation ‘more favorable to the protection of women’s rights.
Furthermore, she considers that extending the legal term for a woman to interrupt a pregnancy by her own choice would place ‘Portugal, alongside Austria, as a European country whose legislation is favorable to the protection of women’s reproductive rights.’
Thus, the deputy wants to end the “distinction between a normal voluntary termination of pregnancy, and the voluntary termination of pregnancy” when the pregnancy results from a violent crime, such as rape. By establishing an across the board sixteen week limit, women will have time to assess their situation in a rational manner. This, she says, means that women are also not forced to admit to health professionals that they have been the victim of a sexual crime, as in some cases women are too afraid to admit what has happened to them.
By extending the period of voluntary termination of pregnancy, women will not only have the freedom of choice over their bodies, it will guard against financial incapacity, and prevent the proliferation of back street abortionists.
Concluding she said it was a falsehood to accuse women of using voluntary termination as a method of contraception, as many women who have had a termination often suffer psychological trauma, and in some cases physical abuse for their actions.
Interestingly, many men responded to the article by saying that abortion is wrong, but as one woman wrote, ‘you are not a woman who is facing an unwanted pregnancy, either by accident or through force!’
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