ERG/Unite Campaign rejects proposals, goes international

In a joint communique today by the ERG/Unite Pro-Choice Campaign, Gillian Birkett, Regional Officer for the Union, and Felix Alvarez, Chair of Equality Rights Group, have unambiguously rejected Government’s Command Paper proposals on abortion, announcing ‘a decisive stepping up of our joint campaign to bring a just and modern law to Gibraltar that cherishes the right to choose of all women on the issue of pregnancy.’

‘The command paper proposals do not improve the private life of women in Gibraltar.  We have been respectful not only with all sides on this issue, but also with the democratic process itself, having fully participated in consultative discussions and reviews of Government’s proposals and with other community groups. We are absolutely clear, however, that this is not the end of the road.

‘Our joint Campaign, bringing together the two organisations on human and workers’ rights, has been hard at work looking beyond the immediate process. We are now actively pursuing international campaigning which will involve the Labour Movement at a UK and international level as well as engage human, civil and political rights organisations across jurisdictions.

‘Anyone who has read our response to Government’s Command Paper proposals will understand that there is little this Campaign and Government can currently agree on regarding this matter. We see little evidence of progressive thinking on the part of the Administration. We will therefore continue to stand firm for the right of women to be able to make their own decisions, one way or the other, about their health and private lives. Along with large swathes of this community, once the noise has died down, we see no justification for Government or anyone else to be imposing their values on citizens, even less to continue maintaining draconian penalties such as life imprisonment.

‘Our Pro-Choice Campaign does not and will not end with a submission to Government. It will continue to lobby widely in parallel to the Administration’s deliberations – and beyond, if necessary,’ the statement ended.