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High-profile politicians call on Gibraltar to reject abortion in upcoming referendum

High-profile politicians from both the United Kingdom and Ireland have called on Gibraltar to ‘vote NO’ in the abortion referendum that will be held tomorrow.

Eight members of the UK’s House of Lords have signed a letter to the people of Gibraltar, asking them to reject the introduction of a new abortion law.

Their letter argues that the 24 June referendum is not about permitting women to have life-saving medical treatment, which is already provided for in Gibraltar’s current law, but about deliberately depriving the unborn of their right to life. The letter also argues that the practice of abortion in the UK has had devastating consequences, and asks Gibraltar to vote no in Thursday’s referendum.

In a video address ahead of the referendum, Lord Alton of Liverpool, who co-signed the open letter, said: “I remember with great fondness my visit to Gibraltar last year. In Gibraltar, you have something very special that you can hold onto”. 

“By contrast in Britain, we introduced abortion before we knew so much about the humanity of the unborn child. Our legislators never expected that we would have over 200,000 abortions every year. That’s 1 in 5 pregnancies. 1 abortion every 3 minutes”. 

“You have the evidence before you now, and before you vote on the 24th of June. I encourage you to support mothers and families which I know you do already, and I urge you to not let go of that something special: laws that protect everyone, born and unborn alike. I encourage you to vote no”.

The letter was signed by seven other UK Peers, including Lord Mackay of Clashfern, former Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, Baroness O’Loan of Kirkinriola, Lord Morrow of Clogher Valley, and Baroness Stroud of Fulham.

“Don’t make the same mistake Ireland did”

An open letter signed by eight Irish politicians has also been released. The letter asks the people of Gibraltar to vote no and suggests that the result of the Irish abortion referendum was a mistake that Gibraltar ought not to repeat.

The letter is signed by six TDs, the Irish equivalent of MPs, and two Senators. Their letter emphasises that voting against the new abortion law is not only the compassionate thing to do but also the right one in light of Ireland’s experience since the 2018 referendum, after which abortion was legalised.

The letter implores voters to “[not] make the same mistake Ireland did”, and explains how the number of abortions in Ireland has skyrocketed since January 2019 when the new law came into effect, despite previous Government promises that this would not be the result. It says 6,666 abortions were carried out in the first year since the vote alone. They argue that the alleged safeguards in Irish law have not worked, and point to a tragic case in which doctors mistakenly and illegally aborted a healthy baby after it was misdiagnosed with a serious disability.

They say that as with the Irish referendum, Gibraltar’s vote is not about healthcare – but about deliberately and intentionally depriving unborn children of their right to life, and that the territory still has a chance to stand up for the most vulnerable, and oppose this proposed change.

“Save Babies, Vote No”

The 24 June referendum on whether to introduce a new abortion law to the territory was initially scheduled for 19 March 2020, and the voting age was lowered to 16 for the vote. 

However, the referendum was delayed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ballot paper question has been set as “Should the Crimes Amendment Act 2019, which defines the circumstances which would allow abortion in Gibraltar, come into force?”.

Last Thursday an estimated 600 to 700 people attended the ‘Save Babies, Vote No’ march and gathered in John Mackintosh Square in central Gibraltar to hear speeches by the campaign organisers.

Their speeches emphasised that Gibraltar’s mental health services must be revamped to provide adequate help for people experiencing difficulties.

The official campaign for the ‘no’ vote is being run by Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement who are running the ‘Save Babies, Vote No’ campaign. The campaign has produced an extensive fact check guide that outlines the key issues with the proposed law change. 

In response to last week’s news that England and Wales recorded the highest ever annual number of abortions in 2020, the Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement wrote: “Laws change behaviour. Once we let the protection of life go, abortion rates inevitably rise”.

Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement spokesperson James Brenig said: “Once abortion is legalised, it becomes impossible to restrict. Laws shape behaviours and attitudes. We still have time in Gibraltar to stop this becoming our reality”.

A spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson, said: “It is tremendous to see politicians in the UK and Ireland, where abortion on demand has had such devastating consequences for the unborn and society at large, fearlessly speak up for Gibraltar, where the decision to prioritise the right to life still lies in the hands of voters. I hope that voters in Gibraltar tomorrow will approach the referendum question with concerns for the lives of both the born and the unborn in mind”.

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Dear reader,

Thanks to the support of people like you, on Monday 5 July, a major attempt to hijack the UK Government’s flagship Police , Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill with two extreme abortion proposals failed, in a major pro-life victory.

Unfortunately, this major defeat is not the end for our opposition.

The abortion lobby has already been successful at using the Coronavirus crisis to temporarily introduce ‘DIY’ home abortions.

The policy has not only accompanied a large increase in the number of lives ended by abortion but has also been linked to a number of serious incidents where women’s lives have been put at risk while performing their abortion at home.

Our opposition is now eager to see more widespread changes to legislation enacted and we are currently facing major threats on three fronts:

  1. The abortion lobby is further exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to attempt to make dangerous ‘DIY’ home abortions available permanently.
  2. The Northern Ireland Secretary has given himself new powers to force expanded abortion services on Northern Ireland.
  3. The assisted suicide lobby has brought foward a bill to legalise assisted suicide, which was introduced to the House of Lords on 26 May.

If these major threats from our opposition are successful, it would be a disaster. Thousands of lives would be lost. We can’t sit on the sidelines and watch these extreme anti-life changes become a reality.

As you can see, while we have won our most recent battle, we continue to be facing a very large challenge on life issues in the UK over the next couple of months – and we will be facing this across multiple fronts.

We are, therefore, appealing to you to please give as generously as you can. Every donation, no matter how small, will go towards saving the lives of the unborn and many others.

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?

Q

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Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

Q

Be the first to know…

When you sign up for email updates from us, you will be receiving:

Action alerts on the latest pro-life developments along with tools to help you change hearts and minds

Opportunities to help protect and defend more lives

Where should we send your updates?
By clicking submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms below.

Right To Life UK will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at info@righttolife.org.uk. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please see our Privacy Policy.

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