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UNITE & ERG MEET GOVERNMENT ON PRO-CHOICE CAMPAIGN

The Pro-Choice Campaign, currently headed by Equality Rights Group and Unite the Union, today met with Government to discuss proposals for legislative change. The Campaign advocates the decriminalisation of provisions in the Crimes Act 2011 which, at the moment, penalizes women who terminate a pregnancy except under very strict conditions.

‘The Pro-Choice Campaign is committed to the non-partisan engagement of Civil Society in vital social issues, and welcomes the flourishing of debate and initiatives that have been shown since the launch by ERG of the Campaign back in late May,’ a spokesperson commented.

‘We are grateful to the Chief Minister and the Minister for Health for the opportunity to discuss issues of concern in some depth,’ the communique continued, ‘and Unite Equalities representatives Gillian Birkett and Anne Smith, along with Michael Netto on behalf of the Union’s Community Branch, alongside ERG Chairman, Felix Alvarez and Secretary Charles Trico engaged in useful and detailed discussions with Government on the Campaign’s proposals on the questions

“The Campaign explained to the Chief Minister and Minister for Health its view that women in Gibraltar have been patient for long enough already; and that the Administration must recognise that further delay on amending action is no longer viable. To this extent, the Pro-Choice Campaign clearly put forward arguments and proposals for the Government to draw up a Bill for Consultation and presentation to Parliament at the earliest.

“Consultation is beneficial and appropriate as part of the democratic process; however to subject such a delicate issue to a process of politicisation does women in Gibraltar a disservice.

‘We have to say that the Executive has demonstrated an open ear on the issues, and we have made it abundantly clear that the nub of our Campaign’s demands is respect for all women, regardless of convictions on this delicate subject. Respect also to all those of religious faiths or none. However, the  health and safety of women have to be paramount, and it is time to overcome the punishing attitudes of the present Crimes Act in favour of a better, more compassionate law.

‘Our work and our discussions will continue to develop,’ the Campaign signaled, ‘with both local and other key players and institutions, as we continue to press for change that is fair, reasonable and just for all in this democratic community.’