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No More Shame queries pro-life petition tabled in parliament

Hundreds joined a march calling for safe and legal abortion services to be provided locally on Saturday. The march, which was organised by the ‘No More Shame’ group, commenced from Casemates Square and concluded outside No.6 Convent Place. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The No More Shame group has expressed concern that the tabling of a petition by the Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement before Parliament may be misconstrued as an attempt to unfairly represent only one side of the argument.

In a statement the group said the Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement had lobbied four MPs to table their petition in Parliament on Wednesday, in recognition of the pre-born’s right to life in respect of any amendment to the law on abortion in Gibraltar.

The group said this petition is an attempt to introduce the recently nullified, archaic Irish 8th Amendment, under which so many women lost their lives; a retrograde step.

It added that it comes off the back of Pro-Life’s petition, which was signed by 34.6% of the electorate.

“No More Shame, and a majority of the remaining 63.6% of the electorate, questions the Parliamentary privilege of the Pro-Life group to influence MPs to attempt to amend the draft Bill and curtail the democratic process already set in motion and outlined very clearly in the Command Paper of 28 September 2018,” the group said in a statement.

Additionally, No More Shame said it is asking the Speaker of the House for clarification of Parliamentary procedure under which a Minister is allowed to present a petition to Parliament on the sensitive issue of abortion, which is soon up for debate, following the consultation period of the Command Paper.

“No More Shame is concerned this may be misconstrued as an attempt to lobby Parliament and unfairly represent only one side of the argument and gagging the democratic process, triggered by the publishing of the Command Paper.”

“Furthermore, the introduction of such an amendment plunges Gibraltar into the dark ages and removes it further from the civil society the GSLP/Liberal Government aspires to.”

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