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Independent MP Hassan-Nahon calls for a “proper debate” on abortion

Abortion Petition signing 18-06-18 (Photo John Bugeja)organised by Together Gibraltar Petition for a consultative Referendum on Gibraltar Abortion Law. Marlene Hassan signing petition

Independent MP Marlene Hassan-Nahon has called on the GSD and the Government to “leave aside petty political games and deliver a serious and proper debate” on abortion.

In a statement released to the press yesterday, Ms Hassan-Nahon said: “It is with regret and sadness that I now see that the abortion debate, an important and seminal moment in the development of our community, has been hijacked as the latest arena for the political class to flex their muscles with.”

With a Government Command Paper out on the subject since last month, Ms Hassan-Nahon said she will be providing her views as part of an attempt to be constructive and to engage positively in that process to make “our future law better and fit for purpose”.

She said: “I urge the Government and the Opposition to approach this part of the debate maturely too.”

“I don't think we want to see any more in fighting between them on this sensitive matter.”

“The GSLP-Liberals and the GSD have painfully got themselves over the hurdle into a position where they admit that they accept we need to have an abortion law.”

Ms Hassan-Nahon said she is the only Member of Parliament to give a clear indication of where she stands on the debate, adding that although members of the public may agree or disagree with her, they know where she stood all along.

She accuses the GSD and the government of being “paralysed by the fear of public disapproval”, and of hiding behind “legal walls”.

Ms Hassan-Nahon added: “The GSD now owes the electorate some honesty about the fact that they have acknowledged this and stop pandering to both sides of the debate by pretending to be on the pro-life side one minute, and on the pro-choice side another.”

“The time has come to leave aside petty political games and deliver a serious and proper debate. I am ready for it. I hope my fellow political leaders are ready too.”

Ms Hassan-Nahon said the only pronouncements the government and GSD have made on abortion have been arguments on the applicability of a Supreme Court judgment.

“The public is calling for leadership and guidance on this issue,” she added.

“All we've seen from the GSLP-Liberals and the GSD has been political manoeuvring.”

“I am particularly shocked to see the GSD suggest there has been no public debate on the matter. Where on earth have they been over the last year?”

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