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.




Northern Irish implications for the Manx Abortion debate

Dr Kathryn McNeill's talk to the Northern Ireland Assembly

Dr Kathryn McNeilly’s talk in the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS)at the Northern Ireland Assembly

This is the first in a series of 3 posts about talks on abortion law given by three professional and well respected academics in January 2017.  The arguments laid out here have important implications for our Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation in the Isle of Man (more…)