THE Government of Gibraltar has set a date for a referendum on the legalisation of abortion.

Gibraltarian women seeking an abortion are currently forced to cross the border into Spain or face life imprisonment.

Having an abortion in the British Overseas Territory is illegal under Section 16 of the 2011 Crime Act.

But now the Rock’s newly elected government has tabled a motion to hold a vote legalising the medical procedure on Thursday March 19, 2020.

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BANNED: It is currently illegal to have an abortion in Gibraltar and those that do face life imprisonment

Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who was recently elected for a third successive term in office, called the move a ‘priority’.

“We consider, as we have explained on many occasions, that changes to the current framework for abortion in Gibraltar are, quite simply, essential,” said the GSLP/Liberal leader.

It comes after the Picardo administration announced its pledge to hold a referendum in July this year.

The vote itself will be on the commencement of the Crimes (Amendment) Act 2019, the act, which allows abortion under certain circumstances.

A motion will be tabled at the first session of the new Parliament, while Picardo will also seek to lower the voting age.

He will ask a Select Committee on Parliamentary Reform to consider whether 16-year-olds should be allowed to cast their ballot in the abortion referendum.

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