Gibraltar – part of the UK but like Northern Ireland, excluded from Britain’s abortion law
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
March 13, 2018
Gibraltar is a peninsula hanging off the edge of Spain, separated from Spain by an airport runway, belonging to the UK but excluded from British abortion law. Gibraltar is governed by a 2011 law that is based on the 1861 Offences against the Person Act, which calls for life imprisonment for anyone seeking an abortion or anyone aiding someone else to do so.
Two women’s groups have recently become active in Gibraltar as regards abortion. The Gibraltar Women’s Association believes it is time to change the law. They say they know of many women who have suffered physical and mental health problems after being forced to travel to Spain for “poor quality operations”. When the women return home, they keep what they did secret and don’t seek further medical care for fear that news of their abortion will spread. The Association says the situation is forcing many women to travel to Spain or have backstreet abortions in Gibraltar. Women who are unable to obtain a visa to travel to Spain, such as migrants or refugees, are particularly vulnerable, says the Association’s spokeswoman, Anne-Marie Struggles.