LISBON, February 8, 2011 ( – The Portuguese Federation for Life (FPV) is calling for a revision of the nation’s abortion legislation after a nurse was given a suspended sentence of three years years in prison for running an illegal and clandestine abortion clinic in the city of Matosinhos.

The nurse, Margarida da Costa, 58, reportedly charged 450 euros (616 dollars) per abortion. She was convicted on nine counts of “aggravated abortion” and one count of “usurpation of functions.”  Although abortion is decriminalized under Portuguese law, only doctors may carry out the deadly procedure.

Isildra Pegado, spokeswoman for the FPV, says that the conviction demonstrates that the decriminalization of abortion in her country has not achieved the results that were promised by pro-abortion groups.  The organization will soon be presenting a petition signed by thousands of citizens asking for a revision of the abortion law.

“During the campaign there were many people who said that with liberalization, abortion would become safe, rare, and legal,” said Pegado to the on line news portal Renacença.  “In the past four years we confirmed that it isn’t safe, because complications from abortion increased in recent years.  It isn’t legal because illegal abortion continues to proliferate throughout the country, and it isn’t rare because contrary to what was said, abortion increased exponentially.”

“This case confirms what we have come to say and what underlies the petition that we are presenting, called ‘Let’s come, hear, and read—we cannot ignore it,’” Pegado added.

The petition asks the Portuguese legislature to “recognize the scourge of abortion, which, from the north to the south, has been sweeping the country for four years destroying children, women, families, and the economy, creating unemployment and depression,” and asks them to “take legislative measures to protect human life from conception”.