August 18, 2011 ( – Alois of Liechtenstein, the hereditary prince of the tiny European nation, has declared his opposition to the depenalization of abortion, which is currently the subject of a popular referendum in his country.


Alois made use of the national celebration of the principality on August 15 to state that, if the initiative is approved, he will “oppose” its ratification as a law, hinting that his father, the nation’s sovereign, will refuse to sign it.  Without the prince’s signature, proposed legislation cannot enter into force in Liechtenstein.

The Parliament of Liechtenstein has already registered its disapproval, with only 7 of 25 members voting in favor of a similar measure.

In particular, Alois cited his concern about the killing of handicapped children, which the law seeks to facilitate.  Unborn children with birth defects would be subject to abortion until the very moment of birth.

Under current law, abortions performed in Liechtenstein or performed on citizens outside of Liechtenstein is punishable by up to one year in prison.

Liechtenstein is one of only a handful of European countries that continue to prohibit most abortions, including Ireland, Malta, and Poland.

The position of the hereditary prince run against a socially liberal trend in Liechtenstein that led recently to the creation of same-sex civil unions, a measure that was approved by referendum despite the fact that 80% of the country is understood to be “Catholic.”