Guernsey women's rights campaigners hit out at plans to delay abortion reform

Activists protesting the abortion laws.
Credit: ITV Channel TV

Women's rights campaigners in Guernsey have hit out at plans to delay updates to the abortion law.

In June 2020, Deputies agreed to modernise the legislation which included increasing the time limit for abortions from 12 to 24 weeks. 

But Deputies Carl Meerveld and Liam McKenna have put forward a motion for the meeting of the States which would delay those changes. 

The changes to the current 1997 abortion law were voted through by deputies last year, and include: 

  • Removing the need for two medical practitioners to certify an abortion.

  • Increasing Guernsey’s gestational limits in line with those in England.

  • Removing criminal sanctions relating to women in respect of ending, or attemptingto end, her own pregnancy.

  • Allowing early medical abortion procedures to take place at the woman’s home.  

Deputy Carl Meerveld, who put forward the Sursis motion, believes the proposed changes need further consultation.

In an open letter, Deputy Meerveld added that the motion was not intended to 'kick the can down the road', but was instead vital to consider an issue that 'literally involves life and death.'