The Gibraltar Women’s Association said it will not campaign on the abortion issue out of respect to all its members, who are represented on both sides of the debate.
Instead, the GWA encouraged members who felt strongly on the issue to join either of the groups recently set up to champion different pro-life or pro-choice stances in the debate.
However, the GWA said it supported the right to a referendum on this issue.
In a statement, the GWA said it “did what needed to be done” to bring the debate into the public domain, but has now handed it over to the politicians to decide what needs to happen next “to decriminalise [abortion] at the very least”.
“We firmly believe that women should make their own choices and within that includes to have or not to have an abortion,” the GWA said.
“We brought up the subject to debate and provided research to both Government and Opposition.”
”At no time did we intend to upset our membership who we have on both sides of this issue and in hindsight we should have consulted with them.”
“The fact is that this issue was on our long wish list which each year we send out to the press.”
“The wish list was sensationalised in bringing this topic to the fore front out of over thirty other issues on our wish list.”
“We never campaigned as such but the debate was then opened to the public domain on a very taboo subject.”
The GWA said it believed that any woman who finds herself in a situation to decide on whether or not to have an abortion should have all information and help offered to her, so as to enable her to make an informed decision and to ensure she is aware of the consequences of the choice she intends to take.
The GWA called on the government to provide more modern and better in depth sex education to children, adding that it must include contraception which should be freely available in the new sex clinics.
Finally, the GWA called for harsher laws on sex crimes and for legislation in this area to be updated.