"I don't believe that Portugal can go back on abortion. It was necessary for the radical, religious lines in this matter to gain brutal weight. And today there are no voices in favour of a repeal/reversal of legislation."

The President was replying to Diário de Notícias, which questioned the head of state about the decision that the US Supreme Court should announce this Monday on the unconstitutionality of the illegalisation of abortion decreed in 1973.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was, throughout his political career and as a television commentator, one of the voices against the legalisation of the voluntary interruption of pregnancy in Portugal. In 1988, when this issue went to referendum, Marcelo, who was then president of the PSD, made an agreement with Prime Minister António Guterres (PS) to stop the entry into force of a law passed that year in parliament that allowed for an abortion up to 12 weeks by decision of the woman.