(LifeSiteNews) – The Portuguese Constitutional court declared a law that introduced legal euthanasia unconstitutional.
The court argued in its decision that “an intolerable lack of definition was thus created as to the exact scope of application of the new law.” It further stated that “the conditions under which medically assisted death is legally admissible must be ‘clear, foreseeable and controllable’ (Judgment No. 123/2021), and it is up to the legislator to define them in a way that is certain for all concerned.”
The court did not declare euthanasia itself unconstitutional, but rather the imprecision contained within the text of the legislation. The court noted that the typology of suffering that would be needed to legally euthanize a person described in the law was ambiguous:
In conducting this review, the Court concluded that, since the legislator had decided to characterize the typology of suffering by listing three characteristics (“physical, psychological and spiritual”) linked by the conjunction “and”, two conflicting interpretations of this assumption are plausible and tenable.
In doing so, the legislator gave rise to the doubt, which must be clarified, as to whether the requirement is cumulative (physical suffering, plus psychological suffering, plus spiritual suffering) or alternative (both physical, psychological, and spiritual suffering).
The law was already the third attempt to legalize assisted suicide in Portugal in the past two years. The previous two attempts were struck down by the Constitutional court and by Portugal’s president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa vetoing the bill.
READ: Portugal’s Parliament tries to legalize assisted suicide for the third time in 18 months
Moreover, in 2018, the majority of delegates in the Portuguese parliament rejected a bill that sought to legalize euthanasia.
READ: Assisted suicide rejected in Portugal
Pro-life groups celebrated the victory but also stressed that the fight to protect life against euthanasia in Portugal is not over yet.
The Portuguese Federation for Life and the “One of Us” Federation released a joint statement, nothing this “is the second time that the Constitutional Court has declared a euthanasia law unconstitutional and the fourth time, since 2018, that the promoters of this law have been frustrated.”
Labour MP Stella Creasy has threatened to table an amendment to the Government’s upcoming Bill of Rights to give women the “fundamental right to an abortion”.
Ms Creasy has already been instrumental in imposing abortion on Northern Ireland, promoting DIY abortion, and banning pro-life vigils around abortion clinics. Now she wants to remove any restrictions on abortion. She even wants decisions on abortion law to be taken out of the hands of elected politicians by making it a “right”.
Sign this petition calling on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to resist any attempt to make abortion a right.
There is no right to abortion in international law. None of the nine core treaties of the United Nations recognises abortion as a human right (including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women).
Instead, several human rights instruments recognise the right to life of children before birth. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states: “... the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth...”
There can be no right to end the life of an innocent unborn child.
The UK already has some of the most permissive abortion legislation in Europe. A right to abortion would make the situation here even worse. Creating an absolute “right” to abortion would logically mean removing any restrictions. The worst implications of this could include:
• The removal of any gestational limits, allowing abortion up to birth
• Abortion based on the gender of the baby
• The removal of medical safeguards, including the involvement of doctors
• Erosion of conscience rights for medical professionals
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The overturn of a Court decision in the United States has no direct implications for abortion law in the UK, which is regulated by Acts of Parliament. The regulation of a controversial issue such as abortion should lie with democratically elected MPs, not the courts. Robert Buckland MP, the former Justice Secretary, has warned that enshrining abortion as a right “risks bringing our courts into the political arena as in the United States”.
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“However, this legislative process does not end with this declaration of unconstitutionality, since its promoters have already declared that they will modify the law again, trying to reform its provisions that were declared unconstitutional.”
“The Portuguese Federation Pela Vida and One of Us will continue our fight in defense of Life,” the statement read.
“The effort to control the lives of citizens, the control of our death, should make us reflect on the excessive action of governments and certain lobbies that live off the death of their immense power and their commitment to absolute control of our societies.”
Liberal euthanasia laws make Canada the world leader in organs harvested from assisted-suicide victims