Save Babies Vote No Campaign Holds March For Life

Yesterday the Save Babies Vote No campaign held a march which saw an estimated 600 people attend.

A statement from the 'Save Babies Vote No' campaign follows below:

The Save Babies Vote NO campaign was thrilled with the huge numbers of people who gathered this evening to show their support for mothers and unborn babies in Gibraltar and to call for a NO vote in the abortion referendum next Thursday.

Organisers estimate that between 600 and 700 people attended the March, which was led by members of Students For Life Gibraltar, from Irish Town, through Main street and onto John Mackintosh Square.

MC Paola Felipes introduced the contributors who outlined why a NO vote is the best vote for Gibraltar's future.

Patricia Parody, Chairperson of GPLM welcomed all those in attendance and paid tribute to the many volunteers who have given of their time in recent weeks to promote the positive message of life.  She commended all the individuals and groups involved in this community effort including students, lawyers and Lllanitos for Life, all of who come to the pro-life position from different backgrounds.  She said:

"I’ve been struck by the many reasons why those involved in this great movement are voting NO.  Every day, new faces of people from this community are appearing on social media each of them outlining why they believe a NO vote is a the only just vote on the 24th of June. For some, that NO vote comes from a commitment to human rights, for some it is grounded in faith and a belief in the human dignity of every person from the moment of conception, for some it is from personal experiences of getting though unplanned pregnancies despite all the challenges, or for some, sadly it is from going through abortion without any positive support and regretting it.  For others, it is a combination of these reasons. I am inspired every day by our volunteers who come from every part of this community and every background. We are diverse and yet ultimately we are all the same, all part of the same human family." 

Mrs.  Parody appealed to everyone present to identify three more people among their friends, family or work colleagues and talk to them about why voting NO is the best option next Thursday.  She said:

"I worry that the wrong decision on the 24th of June could have a very big impact on my own children and grandchildren and on all future generations of Gibraltar and that’s why I think that everyone here tonight should not just commit to voting NO themselves but also commit to encouraging friends, family and work colleagues to do likewise."

Lady Cristina Caruana told those gathered that her NO vote comes from her commitment to community. She said: 

"I know that you will agree that we are a community of support, care, compassion and protection. This became abundantly clear in the last year as we dealt collectively with the crisis that came to our door with the Covid pandemic. I think it’s fair to say that we took whatever steps were necessary to protect the most vulnerable among us. If this period has taught us anything, it has taught us that we can push through if we are united in our focus on protecting human life and that is what I hope we will do on the 24th of June."

Father of four James Brenig explained how extreme the proposal that will be voted on next week is. He outlined how women's lives in pregnancy are already protected in law in Gibraltar, how the proposal would introduce abortion throughout the full nine months of pregnancy and how abortion would be available in wide-ranging circumstances. He remarked how the experiences of other countries shows that despite best efforts, abortion rates always rise massively once the law is changed.  He said: 

"We know that law changes behaviour, and everywhere that abortion is legalised, the number of abortions go up. In Britain, the number of abortions quadrupled in the first few years and has been rising steadily ever since and sadly 1 in 5 babies now have their lives ended by abortion. More recently in Ireland, abortion rates shot up immediately after the law was liberalised despite assurances to the contrary from politicians there before the vote."

Mr. Brenig remarked about how the word 'child' while mentioned seven times in the existing law is completely removed in the new proposal and said:

"Let us keep the 'Child' in Child Friendly City, and ensure that we vote NO on the 24th June.  For Gibraltar’s Future, lets keep Gibraltar’s heart beating."

The final speaker of the evening was Stephane Yeo, who runs the CareLink programme to help pregnant women in need and new mothers and vulnerable families.   Her message was that of support for women in unplanned pregnancy and their families. She said: 

"We simply need to do better for our young women and children. We need to build a society where there are other real solutions and options, aid and support. Abortion is never a positive solution.  Sombody dies. We can do better as a society for our women.  This is why I've been involved in CareLink from the beginning.  It's wonderful how much of an impact it can make to a woman or family to know that there is help and support out there - to know they are never alone and that the community cares." 

She said: "Abortion is not good or empowering to women. Abortion regret is very real for countless women and we have heard many testimonies here in Gibraltar of how it has negatively impacted women's lives. Many say the last thing they believed was that they had a choice, but instead felt it was expected of them. We can and need to do so much better as a society."

Mrs. Yeo concluded:

"Let us commit today not just to voting NO on the 24th but also to helping our women when difficulties arise and get involved in being able to help in practical ways." 

The event also featured some children who brought red heart-shaped balloons up the steps of the Piazza, to represent the beating heart of an unborn child at just 21 days and the strong heart Gibraltar has for it's people.

Ms Felipes concluded the event by  encouraging all those present to keep up the momentum for a 'No' vote and go out proudly and encourage others to vote NO on 24th June.