22nd July 2020, 14:59
From the start of this year to June, 29 requests for abortion pills have been sent from Gibraltar, according to pro-choice campaigners, No More Shame. The group says that its sources at Women on Web - an organisation that provides access to such pills - have provided these statistics.
No More Shame claims that 20 requests for abortion pills were sent from Gibraltar in 2019 to Women on Web. By comparison, it says, 29 requests were sent during the first six months of this year, which reflects an increase of 190%. The group claims that many of these requests were made during the lockdown period, and demonstrates that women in Gibraltar are opting for abortion pills. The group claims that Clinica Ginesur Algeciras has provided its services to 15 Gibraltar residents between January and June of this year. It says there were 21 Gibraltar residents accessing their services for all of 2019.
The pro-choice group adds that these statistics don't provide the whole picture, as they exclude those Gibraltarians seeking abortions in the UK, or in other clinics in Spain.
No More Shame says that it would always prefer that women in Gibraltar could access the necessary healthcare at home, including aftercare.
It therefore calls on the Government to reschedule the referendum on abortion at the earliest opportunity. The group claims that lockdown has resulted in some desperate situations for women unable to access mental and reproductive healthcare locally, leading them to purchase pills online. No More Shame says that the referendum was necessarily suspended due to COVID-19 but should be rescheduled, before the autumn sets in, due to the possibility of a second wave of the virus.