We are campaigning for a modern, compassionate and fair law regulating terminations on the Isle of Man.
At present, the Isle of Man’s current law is highly restrictive and forces women to travel to the UK for treatment.
This discriminates against women who find themselves unable to afford the cost of a private termination.
Choosing to have an abortion is difficult for any woman, and CALM believes the law should be changed to provide compassionate, effective and fair treatment for all women living on the Isle of Man.
Our goals are:
Terminations up to 14 weeks
Abortion to be available if requested by a woman who is distressed at being pregnant.
Ultrasound scan given to evidence gestation.
The required forms can be completed by a range of health professionals including GPs, junior doctors, midwives, nurses and locums.
Terminations between 14 and 24 weeks
Abortion to be available if there are serious maternal health concerns (physical or mental), serious social grounds or severe foetal abnormalities.
Some examples of serious social grounds might include:
- Death of partner during pregnancy
- Imprisonment (woman or partner)
- Homelessness/risk of homelessness
- Pregnancy resulting from sexual crime (including incest)
(In cases of sexual crime, the woman shall not be compelled to report the crime, swear any kind of oath or affidavit nor be forced to undergo any medical examination for the purpose of allowing the abortion. Appropriate victim support and counselling must be offered as well as information on how to report the crime should the woman wish to do so. There is already safeguarding guidance for professionals about onward disclosure of the allegation should the woman be a minor or vulnerable adult.)
Terminations over 24 weeks
Abortion to be available:
- where the woman’s life is in danger.
- where there are Fatal Foetal Abnormalities.
- where there is a substantial risk of severe disability of the foetus.
(If this is the case the woman should be referred to an appropriate Foetal Medical Specialist (FMS) in the UK for further investigations and care plan to be formed. Depending on the prognosis, abortion might be offered under UK legislation (eg Ground E of 1967 Abortion Act).
The cost of the procedure and associated costs for terminations on any of the above grounds should be met by the Isle of Man Department of Health and Social Care.
This must include all associated costs such as travel and counselling.
National Health Service provision of non-directive counselling to be provided so women have the full facts about their options (including abortion, adoption, or parenting) and support during their decision-making and afterwards.
The right of medical professionals to choose not to be involved in the provision of abortion should be retained, but they must make appropriate referral to another professional as per the GMC standards
Protest and harassment buffer zones
Buffer zones around any venue offering abortion related services (inc. counselling) to preclude protest activities including the handing out of leaflets, banners/signs and any loitering, to ensure women and staff are not subject to harassment.
Sex Education and Contraceptive Services
It would be in the interests of island families and the Isle of Man Government to regularly review the effectiveness of lifelong Sex Education delivered via schools, the health service and family planning and for contraceptive services to be made accessible to all.