Abortion law is flawed in many aspects

An open letter from Deputy Sue Aldwell

AS THE mother of a disabled son with severe learning disabilities whom I adore and who brings me such joy, I find it difficult to comprehend the contrast in the proposed law protecting those with severe disabilities before and after birth.

On July 17th, 2020, the previous Assembly unanimously approved the proposal for a new discrimination ordinance, which agreed to the preparation of anti-discrimination law. The first proposition states for the ‘prevention of discrimination on the grounds of disability’.

Yet on June 24th, just 21 days earlier, they had approved the modernisation of the Abortion (Guernsey) law, 1997. This decision removed the 24week gestation time limit and allowed abortion of fetuses with disabilities up to the moment of birth.

The decision on the Abortion Law legalises discrimination against unborn children with disabilities, allowing abortions beyond the elective period of 24 weeks purely because of their disability. While the New Discrimination Law specifically outlaws discrimination against children with disabilities from the day of

their birth.

How can the disparity and injustice between these two decisions be reconciled, allowing discrimination based on disability before birth but outlawing it after birth? The Abortion (Guernsey) (Amendment) Law is flawed in many aspects, and I cannot support it.

As a newly-elected member, I did not have the opportunity to debate these issues last term.

Therefore, I will be supporting the sursis motive being laid by Deputies Meerveld and McKenna so that this Assembly can reconsider the proposed amendments to the abortion law.

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