A CAMPAIGN to convince Gibraltar to vote yes at the March 19 abortion referendum will be launched this coming Saturday.

The Chief Minister Fabian Picardo met with the group today to give them his full support in the lead-up to the referendum.

The campaign is an alliance between No More Shame Gibraltar, Choice Gibraltar, the Secular Humanist Society of Gibraltar and Feminist Gibraltar.

All these groups submitted responses to the Government’s Command Paper on Abortion held in 2018.

Gibraltar for Yes said it wanted to ‘challenge misinformation and scaremongering’ after the Government voted to end life imprisonment for abortion on the Rock and provide it via the Gibraltar Health Authority.

“The campaign aims to explain to the public exactly what the proposed changes to the law will entail, by informing them of the restricted criteria and time frames that will apply to the access to abortion,” said Gibraltar for Yes.

“It will explain that this new legislation is necessary to put an end to the current tariff of life imprisonment for women having abortions on physical and mental health grounds up to the twelfth week of pregnancy.”

“It will bring Gibraltar in line with its international human rights and healthcare obligations, as befits a progressive democratic nation.”

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The Yes campaign wants to share local stories that from what it called ‘brave women and couples’ to which the group has extended its thanks.

“It is the case that behind every abortion there are often stories of anguish and pain,” said the group.

“They’re stories of decisions made in secret, of procedures carried out clandestinely in foreign countries with no support and advice.

“It aims to highlight the fact that abortion provision and support is an integral part of proper reproductive health care along with the other supports systems to help families in crisis.”

The launch comes after the Gibraltar Pro Life Movement held a conference at the Grand Battery with Baroness Nuala O’Loan as its main speaker.

“Each life is worth fighting for,” said Nuala O’Loan. “We must fight using all the skills, competences and abilities of all the people you can encourage to join you, we must fight with the language of love.”

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The fact that so many women choose to travel to pay for abortions has been highlighted in the past and it is clear this will continue to occur if abortion services are not provided.

“The Gibraltar for Yes campaign hopes to not only win a legal battle at the Referendum, but to help Gibraltar realise that abortions are happening and that they will continue to happen,” said Yes for Gibraltar.

“We need to confront this issue, we need to bring it home, make it safe and make it legal.

“Banning abortions does not stop them happening, it merely exports them or makes them unsafe.

“On the 19th March Gibraltar needs to say ‘Yes’ to Care, Change and Compassion.”

The Chief Minister met with the group this morning, to express his full support for them.

He will now attend the campaign launch event this Saturday January 25 at the Piazza from 11am.

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