Deputies’ open letter explains Abortion Law sursis support

TWO politicians who supported enacting the new Abortion Law have explained their reasons for signing in open letter with five reasons for delaying it.

Deputy Carl Meerveld has now published an open letter highlighting the five reasons why he brought the sursis to the States. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29798620)
Deputy Carl Meerveld has now published an open letter highlighting the five reasons why he brought the sursis to the States. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 29798620)

States members voted for the new law last week after deputies Carl Meerveld and Liam McKenna saw their attempt to delay it rejected by a 28-11 majority.

Deputy Meerveld has now published an open letter highlighting the five reasons why he brought the sursis to the States.

Two deputies who supported the introduction of the new law are among the eight signatories to it.

Deputy Bob Murray said he had supported Deputy Meerveld’s sursis as he shared the same concerns.

‘But when it was lost, I was convinced by the subsequent debate and took the pragmatic view that the new legislation would be necessary, despite those issues. I have particular concerns about the impact of the new law on people of limited means.’

Deputy Murray said it was a complex issue and he had not been a member of the previous States which approved the drafting of the new legislation last year. If he had, he said it might have been clearer.

He thought Deputy Meerveld was seeking to clarify his position, possibly for social media, and as he still shared the same concerns he had been happy to sign it.

Deputy John Gollop held a similar view and said he too had supported the sursis.

‘I think the new law goes too far but on the balance of probabilities I decided to support it,’ he said.

‘My position is a nuanced one but I think it’s better that we have it than we don’t,’ adding he was not a passionate supporter of abortion, but he did support a woman’s right to have an abortion in special circumstances.

‘I did feel that it was somewhat rushed through,’ he said.

‘It was like a steam engine going down the track with no driver and that is something we need to remedy.’

The letter has also been signed by deputies Meerveld and McKenna, and John Dyke, Sue Aldwell, Chris Blin and Lester Queripel.

It will be published in full in the Guernsey Press this week.

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