GIBRALTAR — Gibraltar was holding a referendum Thursday on whether to introduce exceptions to the British territory’s ban on abortion.
Abortion is prohibited in Gibraltar, except it’s wanted to save the mom’s life. Abortion is legally categorized as “little one destruction” and is punishable by up to life in jail. It’s considered one of Europe’s most restrictive legal guidelines on being pregnant termination.
Gibraltar’s simply over 23,000 registered voters are being requested whether they agree with a 2019 determination by parliament to enable exemptions on well being grounds to the abortion law.
If enacted, the adjustments would enable pregnancies to be terminated up to the 12th week if medical doctors deem the pregnant lady’s bodily or psychological well being to be in danger or if there’s a “substantial danger that the fetus is affected by a deadly fetal abnormality.”
Gibraltar is a speck of British land on Spain’s southern tip. Many locals dwell and work throughout the border. In Spain, abortion is allowed upon request up to the 14th week of being pregnant.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who heads the federal government, mentioned it was an “necessary … seminal referendum on ladies’s reproductive rights.”
“I very a lot look ahead to today being a day that goes down in historical past, regardless of the consequence,” Picardo, who heads the Socialist Labour Social gathering, advised reporters.
Most political events have united behind a ‘sure’ vote. The leaders of the 2 events in Gibraltar’s governing coalition, the Socialist Labour Social gathering and the Liberal Social gathering, have joined with the Collectively Gibraltar occasion in urging voters to again the change. The chief of the principle opposition Social Democrats is towards the proposed alterations.
The query on voting playing cards at 15 polling stations is, “Ought to the Crimes (Modification) Act 2019, that defines the circumstances which might enable abortion in Gibraltar, come into pressure?”
Outcomes had been anticipated after midnight.
About 80% of Gibraltarians are Catholic, and the Bishop of Gibraltar has spoken out towards the proposed adjustments. The Gibraltar Professional-Life Motion has run a “Save Infants, Vote No” marketing campaign. It argues that in observe the authorized change quantities to introducing abortion on demand, as a result of the psychological well being proviso could be misused.
“We’re conscious that a number of the legal guidelines relating to abortion has to change, like life in jail and issues like that, however this law it’s too extensive and too excessive,” mentioned voter Katy Corridor.
Campaigners for the “Gibraltar for Sure” group say ladies ought to have the precise to determine about terminating their being pregnant within the public well being care system.
“Ladies have the precise to … privateness and so they even have the precise to not be topic to inhumane and degrading therapy when they’re compelled to proceed a being pregnant towards their will,” mentioned Nicole Vanda, who helps the “Gibraltar for Sure” motion.
The referendum was postponed from March final 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.