Guernsey politician 'dismayed' over rescheduling of debate on new abortion law

Credit: ITV Channel TV

A Guernsey politician says she is "dismayed" that the States has pushed back a debate on the island's abortion law.

Deputy Emilie McSwiggan has taken to social media to vent her frustration that the debate has been delayed until later in the year when changes were set to be voted on in April.

Plans to change the existing abortion law in Guernsey includes increasing the number of weeks a woman can terminate a pregnancy from 12 to 24. If approved, it would bring Guernsey in-line with the UK.

There have been a number of changes to the agenda for States meetings during the coronavirus pandemic as emergency laws and debate related to the pandemic have taken priority.

But on Twitter, Deputy McSwiggan says after the Health and Social Care Committee submitted its draft of the law three months ago, women in the island deserve better.

As well as allowing for a longer gestation period before women can have an abortion, the Modernisation of the Abortion Law would also repeal the rule that it is a crime for a woman to attempt to induce her own abortion.

It would also remove the requirement for a second medical practitioner to approve the termination and that only abortions can take place at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.