There are questions about the referendum results will be binding since the necessary quorum of voters was not reached. Only 43.6 percent of the country’s eligible voters went to the polls. Of these, 59.25 percent voted for abortion.
But Prime Minister José Sócrates has said the referendum results will lead to legal access to abortion in the first ten weeks of pregnancy despite the low turn-out at the polls.
Archbishop Jorge Ortiga, president of the Portuguese bishops’ conference, said the referendum results should be carefully analyzed.
"The result is not decisive and the Church is of the opinion that the question of human life should not be treated with a referendum, because a majority vote cannot turn what is evil into good,” the archbishop said in a statement. “The Church will continue to be a channel of prophetic denouncement and active solidarity."
Catholic bishops of Portugal say the “yes” vote in Sunday’s referendum
on abortion is by no means the end of the battle to defend life. They
are expected to hold a special meeting today to analyze the
pro-abortion results of the national referendum, held Feb. 11.