Portugal's Socialist prime minister Jose Socrates is smiling. His move to lift a ban on abortion has born fruit with 59 percent of those voting doing so in favor of the ban being lifted or, legalizing abortion.
Portugal is among Ireland, Malta and Poland- strong catholic nations that prohibit abortion or destruction of unborn children, due to religious convictions.
Women who abort can face up to 3 years prison term and those who aid them are likewise prosecuted.
The issue has been raging for years in Portugal, whereas other 'strongly catholic' nations have since gone the secular path by allowing abortions.
The move against the ban was conceived around five years back when 49 persons were prosecuted for aiding and permitting abortion (including the 17 mothers who underwent the abortion).
The case led to a nationwide move to legalize abortion before 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
Yet the turnout of voters was just 44 percent and short of the 50 percent quota required for passing a bill.
Socrates is expected to press ahead with a law to push his proposal and will most likely, not let the idea be 'aborted'.