The Committee for Health & Social Care - P.2020/42
The States are asked to decide:-
Whether, after consideration of the Policy Letter entitled 'Modernisation of the Abortion (Guernsey) Law, 1997', dated 2nd March, 2020 they are of the opinion:-
1. To agree to repeal section 1(a) of the Abortion (Guernsey) Law, 1997 ("the Law"), and any other statutory criminal offence relating to a woman ending or attempting to end her own pregnancy that is in similar terms.
2. To agree to remove the requirement in the Law for a second medical practitioner to be of the opinion required by section 3(1) of the Law.
3. To agree to amend the Law to remove the gestational threshold for abortion procedures falling within section 3(1)(c) of the Law, as described in paragraph 5.29 of this Policy Letter.
4. To agree to amend the Law to increase the gestational threshold to twenty four weeks for abortion procedures falling within section 3(1)(d) of the Law, as described in paragraph 5.29 of this Policy Letter.
5. To agree that professional practice guidance should be issued in respect of the method of calculation of gestational age for the purposes of the Law.
6. To agree to amend the Law to provide for registered nurses and registered midwives to be permitted to perform medical abortion procedures.
7. To agree to remove the requirement in the Law for medical abortions to take place only at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
8. To agree to amend the Law to provide that health practitioners who choose to conscientiously object to providing care in relation to abortions shall be required to make a referral without delay to another health practitioner without such objection.
9. To agree to amend the Law to make clear that health practitioners may not refuse to participate in care required to save the life or prevent serious injury to the physical or mental health of a woman.
10. To agree to create a power in the Law for the Committee for Health & Social Care to make regulations making further provision in relation to the circumstances in which the right of health practitioners to conscientiously object to the provision of care in relation to abortions may be exercised.
11. To agree to amend the requirement in the Law to notify the Medical Officer of Health of abortions to a requirement to so notify the Director of Public Health.
12. To direct the preparation of such legislation as may be necessary to give effect to the above decisions, including any necessary consequential, incidental or supplementary provision.
The above Propositions have been submitted to Her Majesty's Procureur for advice on any legal or constitutional implications in accordance with Rule 4(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees.