Gibraltar to hold abortion referendum on 19 March

Gibraltar is one of the few places where abortion is still a crime.
Gibraltar is one of the few places where abortion is still a crime. / SUR
  • The subject is so emotive in Gibraltar that the government decided this was the fairest way for the decision to be made

The government announced this week that it will propose, in a motion to be tabled in the first session of the new Parliament, that the date for the referendum on legalising abortion will be Thursday 19 March 2020.

This will be a vote on the commencement of the Crimes (Amendment) Act 2019, the Act which the last parliament passed to allow abortion in Gibraltar in certain limited circumstances.

Gibraltar is one of the very few places in which abortion is still a crime, and there has been fierce debate about whether this should be changed, with strong support for both the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice arguments.

Because this is such an emotive issue, the government decided to pass the Act in Parliament and let the people of Gibraltar decide whether or not it should come into force.

Chief minister, Fabian Picardo said, "For the new GSLP Liberal administration, the referendum on the abortion issue is a priority. We consider, as we have explained on many occasions, that changes to the current framework for abortion in Gibraltar are, quite simply, essential." He also refuted any suggestion that any political party in Gibraltar is against abortion.