‘Our body, our choice’ chanted before States

CHANTS of ‘Our body, our choice’ rang out in Court Row yesterday, as campaigners tried to quash an attempt to delay implementation of the island’s new abortion law which the States passed last June.

A controversial eleventh-hour amendment from Deputies Carl Meerveld and Liam McKenna aimed to stall approval of the new legislation and sending the matter back for public consultation.

About 200 people were outside the Royal Court building, where members are due to debate the matter this week.

Most were opposed to the delaying motion, while a smaller number supported it.

Deputy Meerveld bypassed those who were against his proposal, but spoke to some who were for it.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq, who supports the sursis, spent at least 10 minutes speaking to its opponents, including assistant trust manager Kelly Hainsworth, 37.

‘I thought he was listening,’ she said.

‘We are not anti-life but pro-choice. Abortions will happen anyway and it’s important that they are legal and safe.’

Deputy Le Tocq believes States members had not understood what they were voting for when agreeing to change the law.

Isabelle Wood, 15, who opposed the sursis, said it was important that the younger generation were heard.

‘Abortion is healthcare and it’s important we exercise what we believe in,’ she said.

Retired police sergeant Adrian La Farge supported the sursis.

‘Give the unborn what your mother gave you and I don’t think anyone should be deprived from coming in to this world,’ he said.

‘It’s not an easy issue but for me there are other solutions. If the contentious issue of allowing termination at 24 weeks was removed I think I could accept the new law, If I can save one life then I’m a winner.’

Medical travel worker, Daisy Chapple, 22, did not think a man should be able to decide what a woman did with her body.

‘Abortion will happen, whether it’s legal or not and I want women to be safe,’ she said.

Joel Richardson, 27, who comes from Guernsey, is a junior doctor at St Mary’s Hospital, London. He was in favour of the new law.

‘A woman should have the right to make choices about her own body,’ he said. ‘We don’t force people to have the Covid vaccination even though it would protect the lives of other people.’

Pastor Michael Quick and wife Rhiana were supporting the sursis.

‘All babies are valuable and human life needs to be protected,’ said Mr Quick. ‘We need to be the voice for the voiceless.’

Mr Quick said 60% of babies born from 24 weeks still survived.

Sarah Griffith, who organised the pro-abortion law campaign said the petition she had organised now had some 350 signatures.

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