Portugal Backs Free "Morning-After" Pills

LISBON, Portugal, MAR. 16, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Portuguese Parliament has approved the free distribution of the potentially abortive “morning-after” pill, despite Catholic bishops´ opposition.

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The law was approved with the votes of the Socialist Party, the Communist-Greens, and the Left Bloc, as well as three dissident votes of the Social Democratic Party, a center-right political force.

The rest of the Social Democrats voted against the pill, calling it a “concealed method of abortion.” The new legislation authorizes the free distribution of the pill in pharmacies, hospitals and health centers.

The Communist-Greens and Left Bloc, authors of the law, succeeded in obtaining the backing of the semiofficial Socialist Party, despite the fact that its leader and prime minister, Antonio Guterres, is a practicing Catholic and works publicly in favor of life.

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