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the law for the voluntary termination of pregnancy

In Portugal, voluntary abortion of pregnancy can be performed in the first 10 weeks. Learn all about the topic.

Did you know that since 2007, Portugal is among the 72 countries worldwide that have legalized abortion?? In fact, since this year our country has positioned itself together with 71 countries, which belong to Category V of the scale created by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) – a scale that allows mapping the heterogeneity of abortion legislation in the world.

Therefore, upon request, abortion is allowed to all Portuguese women with a gestational age limit of 10 weeks.

However, as it is a highly religious country and with a strong link to traditions, it was necessary to go a long way to reach the current legislation. Stay with us and learn all about voluntary termination of pregnancy.

A little about the history of abortion in Portugal

Although this is a controversial topic, it is extremely important to be properly informed and understand the changes that have taken place over the years.

Until 1984, abortion was considered a crime in Portugal. — that is, it was wholly forbidden. However, from that same year, it became permitted according to Category III of the CRR scale (only in specific cases of need for physical or mental protection of the woman).

Despite the great victory achieved by Portuguese women, there were those who continued in the struggle. And the result was an update to the legislation in 1997 – which extended the deadline for terminating a pregnancy in cases of fetal malformation and/or in situations of crime against women’s sexual freedom and self-determination.

However, the fight for women’s freedom continued to be debated and in 2007 the Portuguese law was changed again, after a National Referendum. At Law no. 16/2007the possibility of carrying out abortions in official or officially recognized health facilities was included??

Abortion as a voluntary termination of pregnancy

An abortion is the termination of pregnancy and can be spontaneous (when it happens due to an accidental occurrence or naturally), or induced (that is, when the woman chooses to terminate the pregnancy voluntarily).

Thus, after years of struggle to improve women’s rights, currently in Portugal it is possible to carry out the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (IVG) – which is framed by Law n.º 16/2007, of 17 April??

In our country, voluntary termination of pregnancy can be carried out in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, calculated from the date of the last menstrual period.

In addition, know that the law dictates that only the woman herself can ask for it. In case you are psychically incapable or under 16 years old, your legal representative may ask for IVG.

And if you wonder if immigrant women can have an IVG, know that they do – they have exactly the same access rights to termination of pregnancy, regardless of their legal status.

The steps of the IVG process

Termination of pregnancy can only be performed by a doctor and with the woman’s consent. In addition, the same occurs in several stages:

  • 1st stage: before termination of pregnancythere is a prior consultation, a 3-day reflection period and the possibility of consultation with a psychologist or social worker;
  • 2nd stage: termination of pregnancy by taking the 1st dose of medication and taking the 2nd dose of medication (about 36/48 hours after the first medication);
  • 3rd stage: after termination of pregnancy there is a medical check-up appointment – ​​approximately 15 days after the 1st dose) and a family planning appointment.

It should be noted that, at the request of the woman, IVG can be performed in official or officially recognized health facilities. Thus, in order to schedule a prior consultation, the woman must go to a health service – preferably to the health center where she is registered.

In case of doubt about the health units in your area of ​​residence, you can contact SNS 24 (808 24 24 24).

A right that is not available to all women worldwide

Although in Portugal women have conquered this right, the struggle still continues in many countries around the world. Or for religious, cultural or ethical reasons, in various corners of the planet the reasons for women to continue to fight for a right that is theirs may still be several.

In fact and according to UN data released in the study “Abortion Policies and Reproductive Health around the World”in two-thirds of the 195 countries analyzed in 2013, termination of pregnancy is only allowed when the health (physical or psychological) of the woman is threatened.

On the other hand, in half of these countries, abortion is permitted when the pregnancy results from rape, incest or when the fetus is proven to have a malformation that could put the woman’s life at risk?? And only a third of these countries take into account the economic and social situation of the mother to allow abortion.

The truth is that abortion policies are more restrictive in Oceania, Africa and Latin America. Only 6% of governments in Oceania and 12% in Latin America allow the practice by request.

In fact, after enormous battles, Portugal conquered an essential right for all women. However, there is still a lot of work to be done in the rest of the world where laws vary from country to country.

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