Scores of supporters attended the ‘Stand up for life’ rally organised Gibraltar Pro Life Movement yesterday at Casemates Square.
Waving signs reading ‘love them both’, ‘Protect life: Stop the bill’, ‘#NotInMyName’ and ‘Gibraltar has spoken’ throughout the hour-long rally, the campaigners sought to send an “unequivocal message” to the Gibraltar Government that Gibraltar “values mothers and unborn children”.
The organisers said 592 people signed their attendance register for the rally, though Chronicle reporters estimated the number of people present at any one time at around 200.
The crowd cheered as Chairperson Karenza Morillo took to the stage, laying out the movement’s beliefs.
Mrs Morillo told supporters that Parliament does not have the power to decide whether people live or die.
She added the “permissive” abortion bill would not be enough for those in the pro-choice camp and, in her speech, encouraged members of parliament to reject the draft legislation.
“We do not want this law in Gibraltar and there is no democratic mandate to do so,” Mrs Morillo said.
The event saw speeches from visiting campaigners including Lois McLatchie from ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organisation.
Ms McLatchie travelled from Switzerland where she works as a lawyer for the United Nations.
Dr Calum Miller, a doctor, Oxford researcher and devout Christian, had previously worked locally at St Bernard’s Hospital during his studies.
Both echoed each other’s statements on how Gibraltar should not follow in the footsteps of the UK when it comes to abortion legislation.
Mr Miller reminded the attendees that Gibraltar is under no obligation to further legislate for abortion and said that coming from England he has seen the results of a culture where abortion is widely available and it harms rather than helps women.
Mr McLatchie said: “There is no human right to abortion. Not within any international human rights legal treaty – not throughout history, and not today.”
“You are the ones truly upholding the principles of dignity, equality and respect that are at the very foundation of a just legal society.”
“Be a light. Don’t let influence of money or power detract from the roots of who Gibraltar is and what Gibraltar believes.”
The rally also included an awareness stall, videos and local testimonies.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was amended on June 11 to include attendance figures provided by the organisers of the rally, as well as additional details about the speakers.