2021 Gibraltar abortion referendum

2021 Gibraltar abortion referendum

24 June 2021

Should the Crimes (Amendment) Act 2019, that defines the circumstances which would allow abortion in Gibraltar, come into force?
Votes %
Yes 7,656 62.88%
No 4,520 37.12%
Valid votes 12,176 98.65%
Invalid or blank votes 167 1.35%
Total votes 12,343 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 23,343 52.88%

A referendum on partially legalising abortion was held in Gibraltar 24 June 2021.[1] It had originally been scheduled for 19 March 2020,[2] but was postponed on 12 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] The proposal was approved by 63% of voters.


On 12 July 2019, the Gibraltar Parliament passed the Crimes (Amendment) Act 2019 (which allows abortions in certain circumstances[4]) by a vote of 10–7. Nine of the ten MPs from the GSLP–Liberal Alliance, as well as the one Together Gibraltar MP, voted in favour. GSLP MP Albert Isola voted against the bill together with the six Gibraltar Social Democrat MPs.[5] Seeking to establish popular support for the proposal, MPs unanimously approved a referendum on the legislation, with the government deciding the date. Following the victory of the ruling coalition in the October 2019 general elections, the government decided on 19 December to schedule the referendum for 19 March 2020. The government also decided to lower the voting age for the referendum to 16.[6][7] The ballot question was set as "Should the Crimes Amendment Act 2019, that defines the circumstances which would allow abortion in Gibraltar, come into force?"[7]


Government funding of up to £50,000 was provided for the 'yes' and 'no' campaigns, with each campaign limited to spending £50,000 in total.[7]

A 'Gibraltar for Yes' group was formed to campaign in favour of the change, consisting of Choice Gibraltar, Feminist Gibraltar, No More Shame Gibraltar and the Secular Humanist Society of Gibraltar.[2] The group was backed by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.[2]

The Gibraltar Pro-Life Movement ("GPLM") opposed the change. In June 2021 it accused Picardo of making misleading statements about the new law.[8]


On 25 June it was announced by GBC News that the referendum proposal had been approved by voters.[9] Chief Minister Fabian Picardo stated that the government would bring the Crimes Amendment Act 2019 into effect within 28 days.[10]

Referendum results
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 7,656 62.88
No 4,520 37.12
Valid votes 12,176 98.65
Invalid or blank votes 167 1.35
Total votes 12,343 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 23,343 52.88
Source: Gibraltar Parliament, GBC

See also


  1. ^ "Abortion Referendum to take place on 24th June 2021 - 216/2021". HM Government of Gibraltar. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Chief Minister backs 'Gibraltar for Yes' which will be launched this Saturday before the March 19 abortion referendum The Olive Press, 22 January 2020
  3. ^ Referendum on Abortion Postponed - 173/2020 HM Government of Gibraltar
  4. ^ "Crimes (Amendment) Bill 2019" (PDF). Gibraltar Parliament. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  5. ^ House Debates Abortion Bill as activists protest before Parliament lobby GBC, 12 July 2019
  6. ^ "Notice of motion" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b c A motion calling a referendum on the abortion law in March is passed by Parliament GBC, 20 December 2019
  8. ^ Save Babies Vote No campaign accuses the Chief Minister of inaccurate and misleading comments GBC, 20 June 2021
  9. ^ "Gibraltar votes to update its abortion legislation, with 62% of votes in favour". GBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Gibraltar approves changes to strict abortion law in ballot". AP NEWS. 25 June 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
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