Abortion debate will go ahead tomorrow in Guernsey

Guernsey’s debate on abortion law changes will not be delayed, after a motion was defeated by just one vote.

19 Deputies voted for the sursis (the motion to delay debate) with 20 voting against.

It means changes to the abortion law and the amendments that are being proposed will be debated in the virtual meeting tomorrow (19 June).

However, the bailiff has said if the debate on this issue is not finished tomorrow that the discussion could resume in a States meeting on either 1 or 2 July.

The sursis was lodged by Deputy Stephens and Le Tocq who were asking politicians to delay the debate until next September while a working group looks into the challenges of abortion on the basis of disability and so they can launch wider public consultation.

Proposed changes to the abortion law include increasing the gestational limits from when an abortion can happen from 12 to 24 weeks - bringing it in line with England. The changes could also remove the need for two medical professionals to certify an abortion and remove criminal sanctions for women attempting to end their pregnancies.