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Comment on upcoming referendum on abortion law in Gibraltar

In advance of Thursday's referendum in Gibraltar on legalising abortion in the territory, Dr Patricia Lohr, BPAS Medical Director said:

“As a doctor who cares for women needing abortions, I know that the current law in Gibraltar is cruel and outdated. It doesn’t stop women from ending pregnancies – it simply forces them to put themselves at risk as they spend more money, travel further, and cross borders seeking the healthcare they need.

"The law being voted on in Gibraltar is a modest development – but one which will deliver safe, evidence-based, and compassionate care. Care will be available in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and after that date only a handful of women will be eligible. It won’t bring Gibraltar into line with the UK or the rest of Europe, but it’s a change that will – for the first time – enable women to access the essential healthcare they need at home.

"For more than 50 years, doctors and nurses across Britain have cared for women who need abortions. I trust the hundreds of clinicians I have worked with to provide the highest quality care possible within the limits of the law – and I trust the doctors and nurses of Gibraltar to do the same. I hope that on Thursday, Gibraltarians will show that they trust them – and women – and vote to change the law.”

ENDS

For further information please contact BPAS on press@bpas.org or +44 7985 351751.

About BPAS

BPAS is a charity that sees almost 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It has supported and advocated for reproductive choice since 1968 and has recently worked with campaigners and clinicians in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and the Channel Islands to reform abortion law and establish high quality local abortion services.

BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/ 

This year BPAS will launch a not-for-profit fertility service, BPAS Fertility, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We intend to only charge what it costs to provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service to patients who may be unable to access NHS-funded care.