THE current abortion law in Gibraltar is ‘archaic and out of date’ according to a top UK charity.
The Abortion Support Network was reacting to the start of the campaign by No More Shame Gibraltar before the March 19 referendum on abortion.
It followed a tweet by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo urging the public to vote yes for abortions which were performed in a safe and legal way.
“We knew that the abortion law in Gibraltar was bad, but we didn’t realise it was quite that bad,” said Ruth Taylor of ASN.
“It is archaic and out of date, not to mention anti-women.
“We believe that abortion is a fundamental legal, and human right.
“Women’s reproductive decisions should be theirs alone to make, and legal systems should enable women to make whatever choice they want and need to make.”
Taylor said that forcing women to travel so they can have an abortion ‘creates a class divide’.
“Those who have resources like money, support and time can access the abortion they want,” said Taylor.
“Those who don’t have those resources don’t access the care they deserve, and should be able to get at home.”
The group has received some enquiries from women in Gibraltar about online abortion pills in the past.
Taylor now believes that Gibraltar should go further than the UK bill.
“It’s disappointing that Gibraltar has not taken the chance to leap over the 1967 abortion act,” she said.
“It is a 50-year old law that does not make allowance for changes in medicine and society.
“Instead, they should adopt something more progressive that will better serve women, as was the case in the Isle of Man when the law there changed last year.
“The Isle of Man now has the most progressive abortion legislation in the British Isles.”
Taylor believes that the term Pro-Life is wrong and anti-abortion activists are not acting in the interests of lives of women or children.
In this light, the anti-abortion group will be holding a demonstration on February 6 at Casemates Square from 5.30pm.