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Success! Guernsey votes in favour of liberalising abortion laws

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Channel Island Humanists has welcomed the news that the Guernsey Assembly yesterday voted to liberalise the island’s abortion laws in a move that is likely to result in Guernsey having amongst the best abortion laws in Europe.

Guernsey Assembly members voted in principle in favour of overhauling the country’s abortion law, and instructing States officials to draft new legislation in line with their policy directions. The members will vote again on the final legislation once it is drafted, in due course.

The approved proposals include decriminalising abortion, upping the time limit on when an abortion can take place from 12 to 24 weeks, and removing the requirement for a second doctor to approve the procedure. In addition, nurses and midwives will be permitted to perform medical abortions and the requirement that all such abortions may only take place at Princess Elizabeth Hospital will be removed. Medical staff who conscientiously object to abortions will also be expected to ‘make a referral without delay to another health practitioner without such objection’.

Channel Islands Humanists committee member Gary Vaudin commented: ‘We are delighted that the Guernsey Assembly has passed this motion on abortion. It is vital that women are able to access the healthcare services they need and our outdated abortion law is badly in need of reform. With recent reforms to abortion laws in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Isle of Man, we very much risk lagging behind. However, the policy proposal that has just passed sets Guernsey on the path to having one of the best abortion laws in Europe. We look forward to the draft law returning to the Assembly in due course.’

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For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at press@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.

Read more about our work on abortion.

Channel Islands Humanists is a part of Humanists UK. Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

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