CALM is disappointed that the Abortion Reform Bill has been delayed a further week.
Although initially planned for this Tuesday (23 October), procedural matters now mean that although the amendments passed by the Legislative Council before the summer recesss will be on the order paper this week, they are there to be ‘noted’ only and not debated.
The Abortion Reform Bill 2018 as presented to LegCo in June is here:
The amendments passed by LegCo and incorporated into the order paper for the House of Keys can be found here – scroll down to the last page.
This is very disappointing, not least for the women who are affected by restrictions of the existing law, but it is purely due to the way Tynwald works and not to any cynical delaying tactics.
On 30 October the revised Bill will go before the House of Keys for its final reading, debate and vote, and once passed will be presented to the full Court of Tynwald in November for signing. Although we don’t like to look too far ahead, it will then go for Royal Assent before becoming the Abortion Reform LAW 2018.
If you’d like to be at the House of Keys on 30 October, the sitting starts at 10.30am but the public gallery is quite small, so you should aim to get there early.