PORTUGAL: ABORTION RIGHTS
04 Sep 2004 13:10 GMT
The ship Borndiep, used by Women on Waves (WoW) tryed to anchor in Portugal from August 29th to September 12th, as a way to remind that Portugal (where there an extimate of 20,000 to 40,000 illegal abortions every year and where more than 5,000 women suffer serious health problems from abortions made without any safety or hygiene conditions) is a country with the most restrictive legislation (and its enforcement) in Europe, together with Poland, Ireland and Malta.
Although there were given tranparency garantees by WoW, the right wing government decided, on August 27th, to inform the Borndiep that it could not enter portuguese territorial waters . The boat must not get any nearer than 12 miles from the Portuguese coast. To reinforce the decision, Paulo Portas, (the populist ministry of defense) sent two war ships to monitor the boat movements.
Links: [ The boat as seen by someone that makes illegal abortions [pt] | WoW calls for the international community against the Portuguese government [pt] | WoW The boat is staying [pt] | Petition against the boat block [pt] | Whem fanatics rule [pt] | Sampaio is not unhappy [pt] | Around 200 people demonstrate against government block [pt] | Miguel portas about the boat [pt] | Government refuses to talk about Borndiep [pt] | WoW Portuguese Diary [pt] | Doctors are indignant [pt] ]
Although the goals of helping portuguese women and of spreading information were aborted, the one of bringing the issue into public light was fully achieved with the precious help of the government. The situation has even reached international level [ 1 | 2 ]
As someone said, maybe the portuguese government will have that same atitude and forbiden, for instance the selling of Xdye shoes made in Vietnam, or the spreading of stores selling nike, Reebok, Adidas, because they exploit child work and many times an exploitation similar to 'ancient slavery'. Or maybe he want to shut down all McDonald's or Burger King, for violent ocupation of indian lands, for the killing of those indians that dared to resist ocupation, or even for the cruel ways of those corporations towards animals and forests. Maybe they want to close all Shell and Select stores for environmantal destruction. Maybe one or two of these crimes are forbiden under portuguese law; and the list could go on forever.
And we could add: maybe, on the other hand, the portuguese government wants to close all borders with the spanish state, where 9,000 women have gone to, looking for more flexible enforcements od the law, in tha last 6 years.