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UK and US politicians urge CM to halt abortion Bill

A group of politicians from the UK, the US and Malta have written to the Chief Minister calling on him not to proceed with draft legislation to change Gibraltar’s laws on abortion.

In the letter, they urge the Gibraltar Government to work to protect the lives of both mothers and the unborn child.

The letter was signed by Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a member of the House of Lords, and was backed by other peers and UK MPs including Baroness Nuala O’Loan; Sir Jeffrey Donaldson; Jim Shannon; Ian Paisley; Fiona Bruce; and Sammy Wilson.

It was also supported by US politicians senator Steve Daines and congressmen and women Chris Smith; Daniel Lipinski; Vicky Hartzler; Ann Wagner; Bill Flores; Jeff Duncan; and Steve King.

Maltese politician and former European Commissioner for health and consumer policy, Tonio Borg, also backed the letter.

“We note that you have justified the introduction of this proposed legislation based on a reading of a judgment given by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom relating to the abortion laws in Northern Ireland,” they wrote.

“Contrary to your stated position, we are unanimous in our view that this judgment creates no legal obligation on Gibraltar to introduce any changes to its law on abortion.”

“The Government of Gibraltar, in common with all governments, has a duty to act in the public good and protect human life at all its stages.”

“Scientifically and ethically it is clear that new human life begins at conception.”

In the letter, the politicians said the unborn child was a member of the human family whose rights must be protected.

“Unfortunately, the legislation proposed by your Government would mean that longstanding Constitutional rights in Gibraltar law will be seriously undermined,” the said.

“We are aware that the proposed legislation has caused significant public concern, including a Petition signed by 36% of the electorate demanding that the right to life of the unborn should remain a paramount consideration.”

“Yet, as matters stand, the proposed law will leave one of the most vulnerable groups in society, the unborn child, without sufficient protection.”

“We the undersigned, implore the Government of Gibraltar not to proceed with this proposal to remove legal protection from the unborn child, but instead work toward the protection of both mothers and their children and to continue to courageously uphold the most fundamental of all rights, the right to life.”

Commenting on the statement, chairperson of the Gibraltar Pro Life Movement Karenza Morillo said: “Our Chief Minister has heard from us, the people of Gibraltar.  Now he has heard from his peers around the world.”

“He has heard from our faith leaders, he has heard from legal and medical experts and he knows now, more than ever, that there is neither a need for this law, nor support for this law.”

“On the contrary, there are many people here in Gibraltar who have already confirmed that they will vote against any politician who supports this unjust legislation"

"We urge the Chief Minister, his advisors and this Government to take on board the points of view of all of those who have been in touch with them in recent weeks and months to express their concern about the Bill.”

“Instead we ask the Government to put its efforts into providing positive supports for women in unplanned pregnancy and their families.”