Not content with misrepresenting the position to Parliament and the public in its Command Paper the Government is
now openly lying by describing the GSD as having taken no position on the abortion debate and being “pro-abortion.”
This is quite ridiculous and a desperate attempt by Mr Picardo to cover his tracks.
The Government and Chief Minister in particular should stop lying to people about this and other important subjects.
It is fast becoming Mr Picardo’s hallmark. What is remarkable is that nowhere in their statement does the Government
reject the criticism that they have misrepresented the position to Parliament and the people.
The GSD’s statement was a considered, nuanced and balanced position. We have no doubt that Mr Picardo understood
it. The problem is that he has been exposed for misrepresenting the position and is now trying to cover his tracks.
As he says that he does not understand what we have said we will repeat the GSD position in shorter terms:
1. The Command Paper says it is proposing to amend the law only in relation to the limited exceptions identified
by the UK Supreme Court [rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality]. That is not true. The draft law proposed
by the Government seeks to introduce a liberal law on abortion which goes well beyond the limited exceptions.
In effect this would allow abortion on demand through the back door. This is a con on the electorate as they
are being told one thing and the law does another;
2. The GSD will vote against that draft law. It is a shameless misrepresentation of what the Government say they
wish to do and what is constitutionally required.
3. The GSD Parliamentary team would vote in favour of a narrow law that provides for the limited exceptions
identified by the UK Supreme Court only. If the Government want to go beyond that we think there should be
a referendum on further change;
4. We think the Government should say clearly whether:
a. they have either made a mistake by clumsily drafting a law that seeks to only deal with limited
exceptions. If so they should withdraw the draft law and come up with a narrower better drafted
b. they are in fact supportive of an English style law on abortion. If so they should say so honestly and
not hide behind the UK Supreme Court that have not said such a law needs to be introduced. If this is
what they are committed to there should be a referendum on that question and the law should not
be rammed through. This would allow people to freely express their view on such a change which is
not constitutionally required and would democratically resolve this emotive issue
This is a serious issue deserving of serious consideration. Mr Picardo’s statement is regrettable. Rather than adding to
the debate it is a shameless smokescreen. This is not what people expect from the Chief Minister of the day.