pcloudy.png
Wednesday August 4th, 2021 3:43PM

Gibraltar votes on whether to ease its strict abortion law

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GIBRALTAR (AP) — Gibraltar was holding a referendum Thursday on whether to introduce exceptions to the British territory’s ban on abortion.

Abortion is illegal in Gibraltar, unless it is needed to save the mother’s life. Abortion is legally classified as “child destruction” and is punishable by up to life in prison. It is one of Europe’s most restrictive laws on pregnancy termination.

Gibraltar’s just over 23,000 registered voters are being asked whether they agree with a 2019 decision by parliament to allow exemptions on health grounds to the abortion law.

If enacted, the changes would allow pregnancies to be terminated up to the 12th week if doctors deem the pregnant woman’s physical or mental health to be at risk or if there is a “substantial risk that the fetus is suffering from a fatal fetal abnormality.”

Gibraltar is a speck of British land on Spain’s southern tip. Many locals live and work across the border. In Spain, abortion is allowed upon request up to the 14th week of pregnancy.

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who heads the government, said it was an “important ... seminal referendum on women’s reproductive rights.”

“I very much look forward to this day being a day that goes down in history, whatever the result,” Picardo, who heads the Socialist Labour Party, told reporters.

Most political parties have united behind a ‘yes’ vote. The leaders of the two parties in Gibraltar’s governing coalition, the Socialist Labour Party and the Liberal Party, have joined with the Together Gibraltar party in urging voters to back the change. The leader of the main opposition Social Democrats is against the proposed alterations.

The question on voting cards at 15 polling stations is, “Should the Crimes (Amendment) Act 2019, that defines the circumstances which would allow abortion in Gibraltar, come into force?”

Results were expected after midnight.

About 80% of Gibraltarians are Catholic, and the Bishop of Gibraltar has spoken out against the proposed changes. The Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement has run a “Save Babies, Vote No” campaign. It argues that in practice the legal change amounts to introducing abortion on demand, because the mental health proviso can be misused.

“We are aware that some of the laws regarding abortion has to change, like life in prison and things like that, but this law it’s too wide and too extreme,” said voter Katy Hall.

Campaigners for the “Gibraltar for Yes” group say women should have the right to decide about terminating their pregnancy in the public health care system.

“Women have the right to … privacy and they also have the right to not be subject to inhumane and degrading treatment when they are forced to continue a pregnancy against their will,” said Nicole Vanda, who supports the “Gibraltar for Yes” movement.

The referendum was postponed from March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

___

Hatton reported from Lisbon, Portugal.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Health - Women's health
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Philippine democracy scion, ex-leader Benigno Aquino dies
Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has died at age 61
4:12AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Jewish Museum in Berlin opens kids' museum about Noah's Ark
The Jewish Museum Berlin is opening a new museum for children dedicated to the story of Noah’s Ark
4:05AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Merkel: Europe 'on thin ice' amid delta virus variant rise
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe is “on thin ice” in its battle against the coronavirus, as the highly contagious delta variant threatens to undo progress made in reducing infections
4:02AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Falling short: Why the White House will miss its vax target
Seven weeks ago, President Joe Biden laid out a lofty goal to vaccinate 70% of all American adults by July Fourth
12:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Ohio ends incentive lottery with mixed vaccination results
The state that launched the movement to offer millions of dollars in incentives to boost vaccination rates is concluding its program still unable to crack the 50% vaccination threshold
10:38PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: COVID-19 cluster worsens in Australian city
A state government minister has been infected with COVID-19 and another minister is in isolation as a cluster in the Australian city of Sydney worsens
8:45PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Health
N. Carolina ban on Down syndrome abortions goes to governor
North Carolina's Senate has approved a measure to prohibit doctors from performing abortions if a woman is seeking it because of race, sex or a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome
6:12PM ( 1 week ago )
Federal appeals court blocks sweeping Missouri abortion law
A federal appeals court panel has blocked Missouri from enforcing a sweeping state abortion law that bans the procedures at or after eight weeks of pregnancy
1:26PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Elise Stefanik, No. 3 House GOP member, announces pregnancy
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik has announced that she is expecting her first child
12:58PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Health - Women's health
Philippine democracy scion, ex-leader Benigno Aquino dies
Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has died at age 61
4:12AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Jewish Museum in Berlin opens kids' museum about Noah's Ark
The Jewish Museum Berlin is opening a new museum for children dedicated to the story of Noah’s Ark
4:05AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Merkel: Europe 'on thin ice' amid delta virus variant rise
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe is “on thin ice” in its battle against the coronavirus, as the highly contagious delta variant threatens to undo progress made in reducing infections
4:02AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Antivirus pioneer John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison
John McAfee, the creator of McAfee antivirus software, has been found dead in his jail cell near Barcelona in an apparent suicide
3:45AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Asia shares mixed as caution prevails ahead of US price data
Asian shares are mixed in a narrow range as investors await new U.S. inflation data
3:18AM ( 1 hour ago )