Expat residents and Gibraltarians urged to vote on an abortion referendum

Published:  31 Oct at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, Citizenship
Expats and residents on Gibraltar are being asked to vote in a promised abortion referendum.

The Gibraltar government are now asking residents and citizens of the Rock to vote on the abortion referendum pledged earlier this year, and are also planning to open the vote to those aged 16 and over. At the present time, abortion in Gibraltar is illegal and carries a penalty of life imprisonment on conviction, leaving Gibraltarian females the only option of crossing the border into Spain. The Rock’s recently elected new government intends to hold the referendum on March 19 next year, and is considering the issue as a priority, calling the change in the law essential.

The intention to put it to the people came last July, with the vote itself based on the Crimes Amendment Act 2019, which already allows abortion under extreme circumstances. In addition, the PM is to ask a Parliamentary Select Committee to rule on the inclusion of 16-year-olds in the vote, due to the understanding that this age group is especially vulnerable as regards unwanted pregnancies. It’s unsure whether or not the Rock’s expatriate community is in favour or against the move, but it’s certain there will be much discussion on the issue over the next five months.

At the same time, workers on the Rock are being urged to join trade union groups as they’ll then be in a stronger position as regards dealing with Brexit border tensions. The local trade union branches are working in tandem with their Spanish equivalents and have handed out 10,000 information leaflets over the past week. Union leaders are warning a post-Brexit ‘hard frontier’ will be a catastrophe for the region’s workers, with the effect also driving away tourists essential to Gibraltar’s economy.
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