Portuguese Prime Minister says legalization of abortion to be determined only by referendum

.- The Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Party in Portugal, Jose Socrates, said this week his administration would not legalize abortion without popular support and that a referendum would decide the issue.

Socrates distanced himself from some members of his party who hinted that the Portuguese parliament could approve the law on abortion even if it failed to pass a national referendum set for January of 2007.

“There can be only one position for the Socialist Party.  We will only approve the law if there are more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes,” Socrates said during the 15th Socialist Party Congress.

The Portuguese parliament decided to submit the law on abortion to a referendum before deciding on the issue.  In 1988 voters rejected a previous attempt to legalize abortion.

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