In a referendum yesterday, out of some 12,343 voters, 62% voted to relax the strict abortion law that makes abortion punishable with life imprisonment, though no-one has been convicted in modern times. The new terms of the law, which the Chief Minister has promised to pass within 28 days, will allow abortions within 12 weeks of pregnancy if going ahead with the pregnancy would be riskier to the woman’s mental or physical health – such as in cases of rape or incest – or later if the fetus has fatal physical defects. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo supported the “yes” campaign. He also pledged to introduce 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”.

SOURCE: BBC News, 24 June 2021, PHOTO: Reuters