Since the right is looking forward to reversing Roe v. Wade at its earliest convenience, perhaps they should have a plan for what to do when backstreet abortions start happening again.

More than 1,000 women in Portugal had to be hospitalised last year due to complications following backstreet abortions in a country whose laws forbid legal abortion, health statistics showed.

The figure “clashed with the 123 clandestine abortions officially identified by the authorities last year,” said a report by the public health authority DGS, published Wednesday in the newspaper Publico.

DGS said the contradiction was due to the fact that public statistics covered only officially proved illegal terminations.

The number of clandestine abortions annually in Portugal is reckoned at between approximately 20,000 and 40,000.

A Lisbon court on Tuesday acquitted a woman charged as a teenager with illegally terminating her pregnancy by taking pills used to treat stomach ulcers, in the latest case to fuel debate on Portugal’s strict anti-abortion laws.

A judge found the accused not guilty for lack of proof.

The trial renewed debate in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country on its abortion laws, among the most restrictive in Europe.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding