Abortion debate gains momentum in the Algarve

WITH THE referendum on abortion only weeks away, the two opposing representative groups for the Algarve gathered in Faro to draw up strategies for the approaching campaign.

The opposing movements Algarve pela vida (Algarve for Life) and Sim – a Mulher decide, a Sociedade respeita, o Estado garante (Yes – women decide, society respects, the state guarantees), both met separately in Faro on January 9, to speak about the February 11 referendum.

Algarve pela vida announced that they have collected 7,500 signatures in the Algarve, which will now be handed to the National Election Commission prior to the official campaign that begins at the end of this month.

Representatives from the “No” campaign, including family health doctor Helena Boavida, president of the National Federation for Life, Isilda Pegado and founder of Emergência Infantil (Child Emergency) Luís Villas-Boas, all spoke in support of the campaign covering the health, legal and social points of view on the issue.

Group representative, Miguel Reis Cunha, explained the process of collecting signatures for the movement and their current ideology, stating that “the current law is comprehensive and already gives women the option of having an abortion in the case of serious health and psychological problems. It’s important to make people aware of this.”


At the conference in favour of the “Yes” movement, speakers outlined their strategies for campaigning in the region. They held an open debate identifying the best strategies and steps to take.

Representative Jacinta Charneca said that although the “No” campaign was well organised, their argument saying that the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), Portugal’s national health service would not have enough From page 1

money to deal with abortion was false.

According to Charneca, “the real issue is whether people agree or not with decriminalisation and furthermore, if people agree that women who have abortions are committing a crime or not.”

Supporters of the “Yes” movement have already collected 47,000 signatures nationwide, and are confident that the Algarve is in favour of their campaign.

Both movements are already planning activities for the duration of the campaign, which will begin at the end of January and continue through until February 10.

Algarve pela vida are organising a “march for life” on February 3, where people walk together down the Avenida do Liceu as far as the harbour in Faro, to raise awareness about their cause.

The “Yes” movement is organising a street campaign that will entail distributing information in the street and talking to people about the issue.

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