In the two months since the postponement of the Referendum No More Shame has been concerned to learn of a dramatic increase in calls from Gibraltar to Abortion Support Network.
In their statement, NMS explain that the first six weeks of the pandemic lockdown alone, saw an increase of 200% over the previous six weeks and ASN have reported that since the pandemic started they had heard from half the total number of people from Gibraltar that contacted them in the entirety of 2019.
'It is clear that women and girls in Gibraltar have experienced unnecessary personal anguish as a result of lockdowns across Europe and the inability to travel to another jurisdiction. It is also now patently evident that the notion that there is no need for a change to the law on the basis that abortion services are available (at a cost) in Spain and the UK, no longer holds any water, not that it ever did. For the first time in going on 4 decades women in Gibraltar have had absolutely no legal access to abortion services, if only in another country.'
'The World Health Organisation in a statement at the beginning of April stated that abortion is considered an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic and whilst the UK has seen telemedicine introduced in an effort to minimise exposure to the virus whilst continuing to offer this time limited healthcare, women in Gibraltar have been left with no recourse whatsoever' continued their statement.
NMS says it notes with interest the reference to the rescheduling of the referendum within the Unlock the Rock document. 'With both this and the alarming information received from ASN in mind, we have written to the Chief Minister with our concerns.'