Gibraltar will ease its law on abortion which was the toughest in Europe.
The result of the referendum, held on Thursday June 24, now means that women will no longer face life in prison if they have an abortion.
Sixty-two percent of Gibraltar’s population voted in favour of relaxing the law while 36 per cent opposed it.
Under the new rules, women will be allowed have an abortion if their mental or physical health is at risk or when foetuses have fatal physical defects. The procedure however must take place within 12 weeks of conception.
New laws will be implemented within 28 days, said Chief Minister, and a supporter of the ‘yes’ campaign, Fabian Picardo.
Counselling and support services “to ensure that any woman who calls at the doors of the Gibraltar Health Authority believing that she needs an abortion will have the support that she needs,” he added.
Isobel Ellul, spokeswoman for the Gibraltar for Yes campaign, said after the results of the referendum were announced, “Well, today, Gibraltar voted Yes. Yes for human rights. Yes for women and girls. Yes for trusting doctors and health care professionals. Yes for choice. Yes for compassion and empathy. Yes for healthcare and care. Yes for reproductive rights. Yes for female bodily autonomy. And yes for abortion that is at home, safe and legal.”
Abortion is legal in Spain in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, and it can legally be performed in England, Wales and Scotland before 24 weeks. In some cases – such as if the mother’s life is at risk – it can be carried out after 24 weeks.
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