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Portugal's president ratifies abortion law

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Portugal's president ratifies abortion law


Two months after he voted in a referendum on abortion, Portugal’s president has rubber-stamped a new law.

Anibal Cavaco Silva has ratified legislation allowing terminations up until the 10th week of pregnancy.

It is a radical change in the mainly Roman Catholic country known for having some of the EU’s most restrictive abortion rules.

Turnout in February’s ballot was too low for the result to be binding but nearly 60 percent of those who did vote backed a change in the law. Parliament approved the measure last month.

In a message to the chamber, the president urged safeguards to prevent a dramatic rise in abortions including information on adoption for pregnant women.

Legalisation marks a huge victory for campaigners in the face of stiff opposition from the Roman Catholic church.

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