UK politician wants Gibraltar to retain draconian abortion laws

UK politician wants Gibraltar to retain draconian abortion laws February 11, 2020

GIBRALTAR, a British overseas territory on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula, has a draconian anti-abortion law, one of the toughest in Europe.

Image via YouTube

Gibraltarian women seeking an abortion are currently forced to cross the border into Spain or face life imprisonment – and that’s the way it should stay, according to David Alton, above, a Catholic member of the UK’s House of Lords.

But things could soon change. In July 2019, the Gibraltar Parliament voted to allow abortion in some circumstances in the territory, but a “pro-life” petition signed by over 6,000 people convinced the parliament to hold a referendum on the new law.

The proposed legislation would allow a woman to terminate her pregnancy where her mental or physical health was at risk before the 12th week of pregnancy, and later if the unborn child suffers from undefined abnormality.

Alton, a leading British anti-abortionist, decided to stick his nose into Gibraltar’s affairs when he travelled last week to the protectorate  to tell a rally that:

Science teaches us that life begins at fertilization. And science has moved on dramatically since abortion was legalized.

When the UK’s obsolete limits were being set, we didn’t know what was happening in the womb. We do now. This is a law which flies in the face of science and humanity. Today we know so much more about the undeniable humanity of the child in the womb.

In a statement issued on his blog after the event, Alton said:

Today, Gibraltar will need all the courage and strength of Hercules if it is to resist their attempts to barbarize its medical services by permitting the destruction of babies in the womb.

Alton claimed Gibraltar’s new law would effectively allow abortion on demand, as has happened in the UK.

Lay people and even lawyers reading the proposed new law may think that it has many checks and balances but the UK’s experience is that they are not worth the paper on which they are written. That’s why there are 600 abortions every working day in the UK’s charnel houses. It’s why Gibraltar should vote No.

More that 72 percent of the territory’s 32,000 people are Catholic.

Last year, the British parliament imposed abortion on Northern Ireland, which was exempt from the 1967 Abortion Act. Alton was appalled, and called it “barbaric legislation.”

The “pro-life” protections were removed in a series of amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, that had the primary function of dealing with the exercise of government functions in Northern Ireland, since the province’s self-governing executive collapsed due to inter-party conflicts in 2017.

Alton noted that even though Gibraltar has a functioning self-government, some legislators had argued the British government would impose abortion on the territory if Gibraltar’s parliament didn’t do so itself.

That is simply not true and, in any event, it would be deeply offensive for a territory which rightly boasts of having self-determination to be treated like a 19th century colony of the UK.

Voters in the forthcoming referendum must not think that they are under duress from London  … Be clear, neither the UK Supreme Court nor its predecessors in the House of Lords have ever had jurisdiction over Gibraltar and, neither the UK Supreme Court nor the European Court of Human Rights have ever acknowledged the right to abortion.

The Isle of Man, a Crown Dependency located between Britain and Ireland not formally part of the UK, legalised abortion in May of 2019, although the law is more restrictive than in Britain.

Currently, abortion is widely available in most of Europe, although most European countries have more restrictions than exist in the United States, which has some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world.

Abortion is illegal in the European countries of Malta, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Andorra, and Vatican City; it is legal only in very limited cases in Poland and Monaco.

Alton, for the record, is vehemently against euthanasia and assisted suicide. In 2014 he came out with this claptrap when he addressed the Oxford Union:

Euthanasia diminishes the dignity and humanity of the sick and elderly and diminishes those of us who condone it.

Alton has been appointed to two Roman Catholic orders of chivalry; he is a Knight Commander of Merit of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (2003) and a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.

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  • Tawreos

    Science teaches us that life begins at fertilization. And science has moved on dramatically since abortion was legalized.

    I think science moved on to saying that it was up to the woman to decide whether she wanted or was ready to be a mother and then it supported her decision and went back to figuring out how magnets work.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    and yet another entitled religious arse looking to stick his opinions into a situation where they are neither needed nor wanted, though interesting that this clown was lib dem and not a tory.

  • Carstonio

    Frustrating that people like him refuse to look at the issue from a legal perspective. Plenty of pro-choicers personally believe that abortion is wrong. They also believe that it’s wrong for government to try to force women to carry pregnancies to term. Or even for partners or family members to do so.

    Banning the procedure, or instituting criminal penalties, simply will not reduce abortions, and not just because women can simply go elsewhere to have them performed. Even if Alton were right about life beginning at fertilization, life cannot be defined precisely enough to suit to the requirements of the law.

    The kicker is that such definition is not necessary. Any government can decide it has a compelling interest in reducing abortions and take steps to do so that don’t treat women as criminals for wanting sex without motherhood. That means better sex education, better access to contraception, better support for mothers, and better economic opportunities. I don’t know about the UK or Gibraltar, but in the US there’s a huge overlap among people who oppose those things and people who want abortion banned.

  • Geoff Benson

    Yes, the science is reasonably established, although the anti choicers are trying even to muddy that with their foolishness relating to foetal heartbeats, and the issue of pain to the foetus. So if the science is clear it’s entirely a matter of philosophy, and there is really no alternative to choice if any sort of compromise is sought. But of course compromise is the last thing that anti choicers want!

  • Raging Bee

    Science teaches us that life begins at fertilization.

    Well, yeah, we already knew that living human tissue was involved in the whole process. We also know that said living tissue is nowhere near a complete human with human-level (or even hedgehog-level) consciousness, personhood or rights.

  • kaydenpat

    If he doesn’t like abortions, he doesn’t have to have one. Otherwise, he should have no say about what women do with their own bodies.

  • Pam

    Euthanasia diminishes the dignity and humanity of the sick and elderly and diminishes those of us who condone it.

    Only someone who has never seen someone die of a terminal disease could say something so breathtakingly cruel. It does not surprise me that someone with that attitude would be a forced-birther

  • Jim Jones

    I’d like to see him create a zygote using 2 corpses.

  • Jim Jones

    Holland has 1/6th the rate of the US. They do all those things.

  • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

    Sometimes we Yanks forget that these sorts of people exist outside the US also.

  • Raging Bee

    My mother didn’t have euthanasia or assisted suicide, but she did make a conscious decision to shift her medical priorities from life-saving measures to palliative care. She knew she was getting quite old, she knew she was getting more frail each year, and she understood that keeping her alive would, at some point, stop being worth the increasing amount of trouble. I wasn’t there when she died, but I strongly suspect she knew that that hospital visit, unlike all the others before it, would not go well; and perhaps her mind and body kind of agreed not to try to go on. I can say with full confidence that that decision did not “diminish” her dignity or humanity, and most likely did just the opposite. Any self-important busybody who says otherwise is clearly just a fool who wants power without responsibility over other people’s lives, and the ability to pretend he/she knows what’s best for everyone else, including people he/she knows nothing about.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, I’ve heard nurses say that some of the “life-saving” measures advocated by so-called “pro-life” busybodies, would be considered torture or war-crimes if practiced on suspected criminals or enemy combattants.

  • TrickyDicky

    Magnets!, the works of Satan.

  • Broga

    Loathsome, pathetic vicious git. And not even elected. Who put him in the House of Lords? Why is he still there? When will he be removed?

  • Ann Kah

    When a position is held by religious people who are willing to lie about it for religious reasons and want to enforce it for religious reasons, it should immediately be suspect.

  • Ann Kah

    My mother refused dialysis although she knew without it she would die in a few days. She was told if she underwent treatment she could live another six months (on top of her 96 years), and she said she knew a woman who did that, but she didn’t “live”; she “existed”.

    The doctor turned to my sister and me, and we both told him in no uncertain terms that Mom had all her marbles and made all her own decisions, and we were not about to second-guess them.

  • Ann Kah

    Apparently science (and his church) never bothered to tell him that women were people too.

  • epeeist

    GIBRALTAR, currently a British overseas territory on the tip of the Iberian Peninsula

    Not too long before Boris throws it under a bus…

  • Ann Kah

    Science could also tell them that it has a “heartbeat” long before it actually has a heart, but would they listen? Nooooooooo…

  • Freethinker
  • Freethinker

    Unlikely. It’s one of the favored places for corrupt Brit scumbags like him to hide their ill gotten gains offshore. This is why they don’t want to lose it.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, it’s a reminder of their past imperial maritime power.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    ZombiePornHub.com

  • Raging Bee

    Did we ask? DID WE ASK??!!!

  • Michael Neville

    Probably a bendy bus.

  • Michael Neville

    Women are definitely second-class in the Vatican’s consideration.

  • Freethinker

    From a military perspective it’s an extremely valuable piece of rock to own.

  • Old Harry

    The House of Peers: one Revolution away from the Offal Heap.

    BTW, UK, just when are you fools gonna have that Revolution that even the French managed to get around to?

    Sounds like the US was infected with The Booboisie by the UK and it’s nation of grubby shopkeepers.

  • Old Harry

    Which bus will disappear, immediately, and the Tories will bare-face lie, “What Bus? I saw no Bus, did you, Nige?!”

  • Raging Bee

    Maybe some women scientists told him, but he brushed them off and said they were being too emotional and were too close to the situation to be objective about it.

  • Raging Bee

    Don’t forget their foolishness relating to DNA. ‘Cuz a fetus’s unique DNA means it has full human rights…while the mother’s unique DNA doesn’t mean squat…or something…

  • epeeist

    Probably a bendy bus.

    More like a Route Master

  • Geoff Benson

    Yea, same way cancer cells have DNA.

  • epeeist

    This is why they don’t want to lose it.

    They may not want to lose it, but the EU seems minded to make its sovereignty a part of the bargaining for a trade agreement. There is also the fact that Gibraltar voted 98% Remain.

  • Ann Kah

    My daughter and I talked yesterday about colleagues in another department who just voted to refuse tenure to a woman who has done excellent work …but who has collaborated with another researcher, a common practice that tends to yield a product greater than the two working separately would achieve. Their objection is thought to be “We don’t want a tenured woman in this department” (they have never had one) but the excuse they give is essentially “…but it’s her husband, so whatever she achieves will probably be the product of his superior male intellect”. Needless to say, it never crossed their mind to refuse a male in that position, nor did it occur to them that their assumptions about who contributed what in the process have not been demonstrated to have any bearing in reality. That’s really strange, for a bunch of scientists to forget the principles of science just because of a single chromosome. /s

    My daughter’s department voted unanimously to give her tenure, and Marie Curie is spinning in her grave.

  • David Cromie

    I first met Alton when I lived in Liverpool many years ago. He was a Liverpool City, Liberal Party, councillor at the time, and a despicable christo-fascist hypocrite then, as now.

  • David Cromie

    I have no doubt that if these forced birthers had pets enduring terminal pain and anguish, they would not think twice about having them put down painlessly by a vet.

  • Art Davison

    A major contributor to global warming is overpopulation, and forcing women to carry embryos to birth is making this existential threat worse. Not to mention the likelihood of an unwanted child being disadvantaged and being a drain on the country’s child care and crime prevention resources.

  • Art Davison

    Right. and it doesn’t have a functioning brain until the 28th week at the earliest.

  • Art Davison

    Excellent put-down Freethinker. Why do these (mainly) religious nuts want to force their beliefs on the rest of us? I understand that their Bibble doesn’t mention abortion, so this a made-up restriction.