Isle of Man – Abortion Reform Bill 2018 passed unanimously by the House of Keys today with three minor amendments

Abortion Reform Bill 2018 passed unanimously by the House of Keys today with three minor amendments

30 October 2018
For immediate release

CALM [Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation] is delighted that the House of Keys has voted to pass Dr Alex Allinson MHK’s Abortion Reform Bill 2018, and that once the three new amendments agreed today are passed by the Legislative Council, it will now be set before the Court of Tynwald for signing.

Today’s sitting (Tuesday 30 October) confirmed that the Isle of Man’s politicians agree that the current legislation is out of date, restrictive and discriminatory and that the Island’s women deserve better.

“CALM is proud that the Isle of Man is leading the way, and will be the first jurisdiction in the British Isles to decriminalise abortion, meaning that those who choose to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason will no longer be seen as criminals. They will also be able to choose to access full reproductive healthcare at home, and no longer have to travel to clinics across,” says CALM.

Buffer zones around places which provide abortion services will also be possible once this Bill is enacted.

“The public consultation in 2017 showed that the vast majority of respondents wanted some provision for buffer or access zones, and our politicians listened,” continues CALM. “Provisions in this Bill mean that people seeking abortions, or even those wanting to access counselling, will not be subjected to pressure from those who only want to frighten women or make them uncomfortable about any decision they’ve made, or
which they might make.”

Following today’s House of Key’s sitting, CALM would like to thank all those who have worked tirelessly on the Abortion Reform Bill, particular Dr Allinson MHK, seconder Clare Bettison MHK, Ralph Peake MHK for adding the provision of access zones to the original draft, the Attorney General, the legal drafters and all those MHKs and MLCs who have tabled amendments which have made the final Bill better for all those who believe that women in theIsle of Man should be able to access safe, legal and most of all LOCAL abortion services.

"We'd also like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign, all those who wrote to the prospective MHKs before the last election and since, and those who've told their own stories publically for the first time," says CALM. "We know that women who've had abortions, for whatever reason, have been stigmatised and ignored for too long, and we're proud that our campaign has helped to make this a thing of the past."