Gibraltar is one of the last places in Europe that protects unborn babies’ right to life.
But abortion activists are putting pressure on its citizens to legalize the killing of unborn babies, and, on March 19, they will vote on a referendum to legalize abortion on demand.
“… the referendum is not about whether you agree with abortion at all or even in limited cases, instead it is specifically about whether you believe the proposed radical law is right for Gibraltar – a law which mimics the letter of the law of the UK and so allows loopholes through which abortion happens on-demand,” Gibraltar pro-life advocate Clare Bensadon wrote recently in the Chronicle.
According to AFP, the proposal would legalize abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy when the woman’s physical or mental health is at risk; it would allow abortions up to birth in “grave” health cases or if the unborn baby is diagnosed with a fatal disability.
However, pro-life leaders warn that the language is overly broad and would allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason on-demand.
“In England and Wales, the exact same wording has led to ‘abortion on demand.’ In 2018, 97.7% of abortions were performed under the ‘unspecified mental health’ grounds [according to statistics from the Department of Health]. The same will inevitably happen in Gibraltar” if the referendum passes, according to the Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement.
The proposal does not even require parental involvement for underage girls, so a 13-year-old girl could get an abortion – or be forced into one by an abuser – without her parents’ knowledge, the pro-life group warned.
Pro-life leaders also expressed concerns about the proposal’s weak conscience protections for medical workers who believe it is wrong to kill an unborn child.
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Bensadon said human rights are at stake.
“So on March 19th, I will be voting for human rights for all,” she wrote. “I will be voting No because we can do better for our women, children and families in providing positive alternatives. I will be voting No to abortion on-demand.”
AFP reports about 32,000 people live in Gibraltar, and a recent poll shows support for legalized abortion. A poll by the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation found 70% of voters plan to vote in favor of the pro-abortion referendum, while 19% oppose it.
But all hope is not lost. Pro-lifers are working hard to educate the public about how extreme the proposal is. On Thursday, leaders of the Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement said they were encouraged to see 3,000 views on their live broadcast on Facebook. They organized the broadcast on short notice after canceling their March for Life due to the corona virus outbreak.
“We were thrilled with the success of our first Facebook Live,” Bensadon said. “It provided an excellent alternative to an outdoor event which could have posed a risk to our community here in Gibraltar. We were delighted to see comments, likes and shares from people across Gibraltar.”
Currently, in Gibraltar, abortions are illegal except when the mother’s life is at risk.
Just a few places in Europe still protect unborn babies’ right to life after Ireland voted to legalize abortions in 2019 and then the British government forced Northern Ireland to legalize them this year.