.- The Catholic Bishops of Portugal have strongly condemned a new law passed by the Portuguese Parliament that would legalize abortions up to the 10th week of pregnancy, LifeNews.com reports. The Bishops said they would not participate in such an “unfair” law.
According to the Lusa news agency the bishops emerged from a conference on Tuesday calling the new abortion law, “unfair” and refusing to support it.
"We are not the least bit interested in participating in a law which is unfair," Bishop Dom Carlos Azevedo said, according to the news service. "Abortion disrespects the dignity of human life and the Episcopal Conference does not have to contribute to it."
Lusa reported that the bishop was pleased that pro-life advocates in parliament, who knew the abortion law would pass, at least won some concessions by requiring a three-day waiting period before an abortion can be done, with the hopes that some women would change their minds.
"Of course the Christians in parliament tried to make this law the least harmful they could," the bishop said.
The bishop also urged health care workers to avoid collaboration in the abortion industry.
"We face women who have abortions with a look of mercy and forgiveness but our Christian conscience forces us not to collaborate with any attempt to the dignity of the human being," he told Lusa.
Portugal’s new legislation on the issue removes it from a small list of Catholic European countries who still refuse to legalize abortion. Poland, Ireland and Malta are the only remaining European nations in which unborn children are protected from death.
According to LifeNews the new legislation comes after a nationwide ballot to approve abortion failed due to low voter turn out.
The ballot vote was the second time Portuguese voters turned back an initiative to legalize abortion. However, following the failed vote, Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he would push for a bill in the nation's legislature to legalize it anyway.