Abortion Reform Bill 2017 to be presented to House of Keys in January

Dr Alex Allinson MHK has taken the responses to the public consultation into account with his publication of the full Bill to go before the House of Keys in January 2018.

The public response to Dr Allinson’s first draft was the biggest ever achieved by IOM Government on any subject, with over 3,500 individuals and organisations taking the opportunity to express their opinions and to make suggestions on how the draft Bill should be revised.  It is to the credit of Dr Allinson and Tynwald’s legal drafters that the revised version has been published ahead of its first reading in the House of Keys.

You can read the revised draft here: 

So what’s changed?

Below is the document published in conjunction with the Bill which details the changes made as a result of responses to the public consultation:   

And what’s missing?

CALM is concerned that despite more than 85% of respondents to the public consultation thinking that there should be legal protection to prevent demonstrations or protests, there is no mention of buffer zones around any facility providing abortion advice or treatment in the newly revised Bill.  This COULD include not just the hospital but also GP surgeries and any place offering counselling.

What can you do?

The Bill will go before the House of Keys for its first reading on 23rd January 2018 and for the second reading shortly afterwards, when we expect a lively and intelligent debate.  It is likely that MHKs will introduce amendments – and if, like CALM, you believe that one of these should include the provision of buffer zones, then please contact your MHK asking them to support Dr Allinson’s Abortion Reform Bill, and to also consider making buffer zones a legal requirement.

Follow this link to find your MHK and his or her contact details.






CALM petition delivered to Isle of Man’s Chief Minister

2,795 sign CALM petition

Representatives of the Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation today delivered the change.org petition to the Isle of Man’s Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK.

This petition, which asks Tynwald to ‘reform the Isle of Man’s abortion laws to offer women a genuine choice’ was launched in May 2016, and closed on 1 November 2017.  Over 70% of those who’ve signed it gave addresses on the Island and a number of those with UK addresses are Manx students.


Dr Alex Allinson MHK’s Abortion Reform Bill 2017 will shortly have its first reading in the House of Keys.  CALM believes that this petition, along with the public consultation on the draft Bill, shows that the people of the Island understand that reform of the existing Termination of Pregnancy (Medical Defences) is long overdue.

Thanks to everyone who signed our petition, and to everyone who responded to the consultation.

Abortion Reform Bill: responses to public consultation firmly pro-choice






CALM is delighted that the results of the public consultation on Dr Allinson MHK’s Abortion Reform Bill 2017 show that the Isle of Man is a pro-choice jurisdiction and that a vast majority of the 3,644 respondents (94% from the Isle of Man) believe that the current law should be replaced.

Key points:

  • 87% agree that a woman should have the choice to request an abortion up to 14 weeks
  • 84.7% agree that a woman should have the choice to request an abortion without having to report the rape
  • 81.5% think that a woman should have the choice to request an abortion if a fatal abnormality is identified, including after 24 weeks
  • 73.2% think that there could be circumstances in which an abortion should be provided after the 24th week
  • 70.2% think counselling should be best provided on-Island, funded by the NHS
  • 82.8% believe that that there are some social factors or situations when a woman should be able to choose to have an abortion
  • 1686 people provided further comments on what these social factors could be, including domestic abuse, addictions, homelessness, lack of support and low income
  • 81% think that the cost of abortion services should be provided by the NHS as part of women’s overall reproductive healthcare
  • 66.9% believe that healthcare staff should be able to opt out if they have conscientious objections
  • 85.1% think that there should be legal protection to prevent protest or demonstrations outside any facility which provides abortion advice or treatments on the Isle of Man

The full results are now on the Isle of Man Government website and you can read them here:


And there’s a helpful summary too:

What’s next?

Dr Allinson will introduce the Abortion Reform Bill 2017 to the House of Keys later this year when it will begin its journey through Tynwald.  This may take some time, but CALM would like Members of Tynwald to consider the overwhelmingly pro-choice message of the consultation results during the debates.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the consultation.





CALM’s response to Abortion Reform Bill consultation

Consulation ends at midnight tonight

This is the Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation’s response to the draft Abortion Reform Bill 2017 public consultation, which ends at midnight on Monday 18 September.

A few key points

CALM would like to see terminations available to any person distressed at being pregnant, up to 14 weeks gestation and for abortions to be available to women who have been raped,  ‘independent of their decision to report the crime’.

CALM also calls for free, non-directive independent counselling to be available to everyone considering their options (abortion, adoption or parenting) and if an anti-abortion organisation wishes to operate or advertise counselling on island, they should be compelled by law to make their anti-abortion stance clear in their advertising and literature.

CALM believes that in circumstances where the foetus has a fatal abnormality, that the choice should be given for an abortion, as well as support should a parent wish to continue the pregnancy to term.  ‘Termination for Medical Reasons’ is never offered without good reason, nor this decision taken lightly. Given that some abnormalities (fatal, or those resulting in severe disability) are not usually clear until the 20 week scan, or after further investigation resulting from this scan, we believes that in exceptional circumstances, it is important that the option is there for a termination to take place after 24 weeks if necessary. We would not want to see parents forced into making a decision in haste due to a 24 week time limit.

There’s still time to make your voice heard – this is the link to the consultation.






Use of abortion pills safe, but illegal in the Isle of Man

Online abortion pills – safe but ILLEGAL in the Isle of Man

Mara Clarke from Abortion Support Network talked recently on Sky News about research using figures from WomenOnWeb (and published in the BMJ) that shows that used properly, abortion pills bought from reputable sources online are safe to use.

This research was specific to Ireland and Northern Ireland but is also relevant to the Isle of Man, where 10 packages of pills, all from India, were stopped by the Post Office in 2016.  You can see the interview here.

There is no follow-up care

Because use of these pills is ILLEGAL many women are understandably nervous about discussing their use with health professionals, and are forced to lie about ‘unexplained’ miscarriages.

NONE of the women in this research died.

If you’d like to read the full research document, you can find it here.


CALM believes that abortion law reform in the Isle of Man is long overdue, and no women should be forced to travel for a termination and pay for it from their own pocket, or risk a criminal record by buying safe, but illegal, pills online.




UK abortion statistics out now

88 women went from the Isle of Man to England or Wales for terminations in 2016

This is 17 fewer than 2015, but it’s not all good news.  Statistics show that more women are buying safe, but illegal, abortion tablets online for a Do-It-Yourself termination, risking prosecution and, because they are illegal in the Isle of Man, with no medical care or counselling.

This is not acceptable.  The Isle of Man should treat its women better.

We look forward to Dr Alex Allinson MHK’s Private Members Bill being introduced to Tynwald.  In the meantime we will continue to raise awareness of the current legisation (the Termination of Pregancy (Medical Defences) Act 1995) and the discrimation and financial hardship its draconian restrictions cause.

For the UK figures, click here


and this is the link to the IOM legislation:






Public meeting to discuss research into Abortion Law

Meeting planned for Thursday 23 March

Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm South Douglas Old Friends’ Association, Finch Road, Douglas IM1 2PX

Dr Claire Pierson and Dr Fiona Bloomer are visiting the Isle of Man later this week to discuss our current abortion law with politicians and health service professionals and to meet CALM supporters to talk about what improvements should be made.

At 7.30pm this meeting will be opened up to the public for Claire and Fiona to present their research findings. If you’d like to come along, this is where to find the meeting.