Abortion Laws in Guernsey
UNITED KINGDOM. GUERNSEY. The Abortion (Guernsey) Law, 1996.
Use of poisons or instruments to cause abortion
1. Subject to the provisions of section 3:
(a) any pregnant woman who, with intent to procure her own miscarriage:
(i) unlawfully administers to herself any poison or other noxious thing; or
(ii) unlawfully uses any instrument or other means whatsoever; and
(b) any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she is pregnant or not:
(i) unlawfully administers to her or causes to be taken by her any poison or other noxious thing; or
(ii) unlawfully uses any instrument or other means whatsoever;
shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.
Supplying or procuring poisons or instruments to cause abortion
2. Subject to the provisions of section 3, any person who unlawfully supplies or procures any poison or other noxious thing, or any instrument or thing whatsoever, knowing that the same is intended to be unlawfully used or employed with intent to procure the miscarriage of any woman, whether she is pregnant or not, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.
Medical termination of pregnancy
3. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not be guilty of an offence under section 1 or
2 when a pregnancy is terminated by a recognised medical practitioner if two recognised medical practitioners are of opinion, formed in good faith:
(a) that the termination is immediately necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman;
(b) that the termination is necessary to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;
(c) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twenty-fourth week and that, at the time of the diagnosis, there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped; or
(d) that the pregnancy has not exceeded its twelfth week and that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family.
(2) Any treatment for the termination of pregnancy must be carried out in the Princess Elizabeth Hospital (or such other place as the
States may by Ordinance specify) or in a place approved for the purposes of this section by the board.
(3) The power under subsection (2) to approve a place includes power, in relation to treatment which consists primarily of the use of such medicines as may be specified in the approval and which is carried out in such manner as may be so specified, to approve a class of places.
Records and notification
4. (1) A recognised medical practitioner who terminates a pregnancy shall keep an accurate medical record of the termination.
(2) The Board may by regulation provide:
(a) for requiring any such opinion as is referred to in section 3 to be certified by the practitioners concerned in such form and at such time as may be prescribed;
(b) for requiring the preservation and disposal of certificates made for the purposes of the regulations;
(c) for requiring any recognised medical practitioner who terminates a pregnancy to give notice of the termination and such other information relating to the termination as may be prescribed;
(d) for prohibiting the disclosure, except to such persons or for such purposes as may be prescribed, or certificates, notices or information given pursuant to the regulations.
(3) The information furnished in pursuance of regulations made under subsection (2)(c) shall be notified solely to the Medical Officer of Health.
(4) A person who wilfully contravenes any provision of regulations under subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the uniform scale of fines.
Conscientious objection to participation in treatment
5. (1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3), no person shall be under any duty, whether arising by contract or by statutory or other legal requirement, to participate in any treatment authorised by this Law to which he has a conscientious objection.
(2) In any legal proceedings the burden of proof of conscientious objection shall rest on the person claiming to rely on it.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect any duty to participate in treatment which is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman.
(4) In any proceedings before a court, a statement on oath by a person to the effect that he has a conscientious objection to participating in any treatment authorised by this Law shall be sufficient evidence for the purpose of discharging the burden of proof imposed by subsection (2).
6. For the purposes of sections 1 and 2, anything done with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman is unlawfully done unless authorised by section 3.
Concealment of birth
7. If any woman be delivered of a child, any person who, by any secret disposition of the dead body of the child, whether such child died before, at or after its birth, endeavours to conceal the birth thereof, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
8. In this Law, unless the context requires otherwise:
“the Board” means the States Board of Health or such other committee of the States as may be specified by the States by Ordinance;
“contravention” includes failure to comply, and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;
“prescribed” means prescribed by the Board by regulations;
“recognised medical practitioner” means a recognised medical practitioner within the meaning of the Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists Ordinance, 1987(b).
General provisions as to regulations
9. Regulations under this Law:
(a) may be amended or repealed by subsequent regulations hereunder;
(b) may contain such consequential, incidental, supplemental and transitional provision as may appear to the Board to be necessary or expedient;
(c) shall be laid before a meeting of the States as soon as possible after being made and, if at that or the next meeting, the States resolve to annul the regulations, the regulations shall cease to have effect, but without prejudice to anything done under them or to the making of new regulations.
10. The Loi sur L’Avortement of 1910(c) is hereby repealed in respect of the Islands of Guernsey, Herm and Jethou.
11. This Law may be cited as the Abortion (Guernsey) Law, 1996.
ncy is terminated in accordance with this Act —