Prince Alois of Liechtenstein has threatened to use his authority to veto legislation to liberalize the abortion laws of the small European country.
On September 18, voters in Liechtenstein will face a referendum on an initiative that would allow abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy or when the unborn child is judged to be severely disabled. But Prince Alois has announced that if the referendum is approved by the voters, he will veto it. His public opposition could influence the results of the popular vote.
(The AP coverage of the prince’s announcement conveys the impression that he is “interefering” in the referendum, and would be subject to prosecution except for his official immunity. In fact, he is acting within his prerogatives as the country’s sovereign.)
Liechtenstein is a landlocked constitutional monarchy nestled in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland. The population of 35,000 is about 75% Catholic.