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Guernsey to introduce disability-selective abortion up to birth

Guernsey politicians have voted in favour of an extreme abortion law introducing disability-selective abortion right up to birth for conditions such as cleft lip, club foot and Down’s syndrome. 

Yesterday, members of the States of Guernsey voted 23 to 13, with one abstainee, to remove the current 24-week time limit protecting babies with disabilities and allow abortion up to birth. 

Protections for babies without a disability will also be weakened with abortions available up to 24 weeks, up from 12 weeks. 

Along with raising abortion time limits, a raft of other extreme measures were also passed including a motion stating that only one doctor will need to sign off on an abortion. 

In addition, the requirement that abortions may only take place in a medical setting will be removed, allowing for ‘DIY’ home abortions with nurses and midwives able to sign off on such terminations.

Healthcare professionals who conscientiously object to abortions will also be expected to ‘make a referral without delay to another health practitioner without such objection’.

The proposals will now be drafted into law before returning to the States of Guernsey for final approval. 

Concerns over the allowing disability-selective abortion up to birth were raised in submissions made to the Health & Social Care committee with one person saying: “I am astonished that there hasn’t been any consideration for the disabled community.” 

Another said: “To allow late term abortion in cases of disability also sends a worrying message to those in our community who live with disability.”

According to official figures, 113 abortions were performed in Guernsey in 2018, with a further three involving Guernsey residents performed in England and Wales.

In a passionate speech against the proposals, Deputy Richard Graham said the changes went too far and questioned Guernsey’s enthusiasm to look at the UK law. 

He said: “I regret that Health & Social Care have identified the UK as the gold standard to be followed, instead I would urge them to look to those countries that have low abortion rates, and seek to learn lessons from them, they are no less civilised, no less compassionate than we are, and they strike me as a far better abortion role model than the UK.”

A spokesperson for Catherine Robinson said: “The extreme abortion proposals that have been approved in Guernsey are named ‘Modernisation of the Abortion (Guernsey) Law’, but there is nothing modern about this law.

“These proposals will ignore modern equality legislation and discriminate against babies and people with disabilities. People such as Heidi Crowter and Lord Shinkwin who have expressed that such laws make them ‘want to cry’ and tell them ‘they are better off dead’.

“The proposals will also allow the abortions of non-disabled babies up to 24 weeks, despite modern science leading to an increased survival rate for premature babies prompting new guidance allowing doctors to try to save babies born as early as 22 weeks into a pregnancy.

“What would be truly modern of the Government in Guernsey, and other Governments around the world, would be to introduce new laws that show that both lives matter and that every life is precious and of value.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

Thanks to the support from people like you, last year a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Domestic Abuse Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this is not the end for our opposition.

We are currently facing major threats on five separate fronts:

  1. Pro-abortion MP Rupa Huq has brought forward an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to introduce a jail term of up to two years if a pro-lifer offers support or advice to a woman near an abortion clinic. This is a threat to unborn babies and to freedom of speech.
  2. The assisted suicide lobby has brought forward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.
  3. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  4. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  5. The abortion lobby is expected to make another attempt to change abortion law to allow abortion on demand, for any reason, up to birth.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. 

Fighting both the abortion and assisted suicide lobbies over this period has already made a huge dent in Right To Life UK's limited resources.

To cover this gap and ensure we effectively defeat these proposals during this period, we must raise at least £200,000.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will make a significant difference.

By stopping these threats, YOU can save lives over this coming period.

Will you make a special gift right now to help protect vulnerable lives from these threats?

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Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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