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 >  VARIA  >  BERICHTEN  >  2004
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Oproep tot solidariteitsbetuiging met de vrouwen die terecht moeten staan

Dear friends,

After the trial at Maia, in 2002, of 17 women charged with the practice of abortion, a new trial is currently in progress in the city of Aveiro. This is a trial of 7 women, again accused of having abortions, as well as of a doctor and a woman working at the clinic and also of direct relatives and boyfriends of the women, who are charged with complicity.

Since the Maia trial, police actions targeting places where clandestine abortions are practised have increased, as have clandestine abortion cases registered by police authorities.

According to official data, in 2002, about 11 000 women were admitted into public hospitals for abortion-related reasons, of which only 675 corresponding to abortions practised according to the law. Every year maternal deaths are registered as a result of abortions.

Countering international recommendations, namely of the United Nations and the European Parliament, Portugal continues to have some of the most restrictive criminal legislation punishing the women and the persons who carry out abortions with jail sentences of up to 3 years, with some exceptions (as for instance in the case of fetal malformations).

In this context, we would like to ask for your solidarity with the women and the other people standing trial in Aveiro, requesting their immediate acquittal, as well as a change in the present law. On March 3, the Portuguese Parliament [Assembleia da Rep˙blica] will debate the PCPĺs draft law on the decriminalisation of voluntary termination of pregnancies.

We enclose a draft solidarity statement and would like to request your urgent solidarity and support for the text and in publicising the issue among your members.

Thanking you for your active solidarity, we send our best greetings.

Ilda Figueiredo
Member of the European Parliament

Statement of solidarity