Religious leaders have been condemned for trying to link the Nazi Holocaust with abortion.
The furore erupted after a photo was published showing Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders posing together against abortion over the Holocaust memorial in Commonwealth Park.
The move has been criticised by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, TG leader Marlene Hassan Nahon and the Secular Humanist Society.
“This photograph of our otherwise much loved and respected religious leaders deploying the Holocaust genocide in promoting their views in the up-coming referendum on abortion is badly ill-judged.
“The Holocaust stands alone as a crime against humanity and it is wrong to seek to mobilise it in favour of any argument.
“It is frankly distasteful, disrespectful and unacceptable to have attempted to draw this parallel.”
The highest voted parliamentarian outside the government was similarly ‘appalled’ by the anti-abortion publicity stunt.
“As a pro-choice, mother of 4, Jewish woman of faith, I have to strongly reject the message put forward by these religious leaders today,” said Marlene Hassan Nahon, Together Gibraltar leader on social media.
“It is offensive, hurtful and does our cherished values of religious tolerance a great disservice.
“Let’s keep the Holocaust out of this debate and show empathy and compassion.”
Anti-abortion groups commonly associate abortion with a worldwide child holocaust conspiracy and in this photo these religious leaders seem to affirm this absurd idea.
The Gibraltar Secular Humanist Society (GSHS) said it was ‘deeply concerned’ about the latest desperate attempt to win more ‘No’ votes in the abortion referendum on March 19.
“Leaders of different faiths, who all happen to be men mostly of advanced ages, not content with the ever decreasing reach of their pulpits, have publicly denounced something which could never happen to them personally,” said the GSHS.
“Not only do they make a mockery of the horrors of the Holocaust, they also make a mockery of the suffering of women in Gibraltar.”
The group, mainly made up of atheists and agnostics believe this stunt aims ‘to impose their beliefs on all persons in Gibraltar, including the non-religious’.
“These leaders want the denial of access to healthcare in Gibraltar to continue, on the basis of their beliefs,” said the group.
“They even go as far as to deny the necessity of abortion on the grounds of physical or mental ill-health against medical facts.
“The reality is that local women are having abortions every single week abroad in substandard conditions.
“We demand healthcare within our own home country, which is as safe as possible and regulated by medical professionals.”
The publicity stunt comes after the hugely successful March for Yes last weekend, the cancellation of the March for Life and rousing support to pass a 50-year-old abortion law.
The SHSG condemned ‘the interference of religion’ on law and health, urging the public to ‘make a stand against religious impositions’ by voting yes on March 19.
As one social media commentator expressed, this is ‘a great advert for atheism’ echoing the feelings of many Gibraltarians throughout the whole no campaign.