Although the Health Minister David Ashford MHK was questioned about this at last month’s Tynwald, and said that that the Abortion Reform Act would be enacted in May, today he laid the necessary Appointed Day Order before the Court.
In brief, certain provisions come into effect TODAY, which will ensure that subordinate legislation, directions and guidelines are in place for when the Abortion Reform Act 2019 comes into operation on 24 May 2019.
That’s 9 weeks and 3 days from today.
Obviously it would be better if it was sooner, but the most important thing is that ALL the provisions are in place, and no-one can claim ignorance about how those requesting an abortion should be treated.
If you’d like to read the Appointed Day Order, just follow this link
and you can read the associated memo here:
We are so proud of everyone who has worked to make this happen but just in case you’re not aware of why the Isle of Man Abortion Reform Act 2019 is streets ahead of the United Kingdom, Ireland and most other countries here are just a few highlights:
- The Isle of Man has decriminalised abortion
- A pregnant person can request an abortion up to 14 weeks – for any reason. This puts abortion care firmly in the realm of reproductive healthcare.
- Unlike in the UK, where two signatures are required, only one medical professional need be consulted.
- There are no mandatory ‘waiting times’ (as in Ireland) and voluntary independent counselling (pre- and post-abortion) must be made available, should the woman request it.
- There is provision in the Act for conscientious objection.
- The Isle of Man is the first jurisdiction to make access/buffer zones legal outside any facility providing abortion services, should they be requested, without any requirement for further legislation.
There’s more, of course, so if you’d like to read the full Act – here’s the link:
(are you as proud as we are to see it is now classed as Principal Legislation, no longer just a bill?)
We’d like to thank all the Members of the House of Keys and Members of the Legislative Council who not only took CALM’s views and our campaign into consideration, but tabled and amended clauses to improve the initial draft and make the final version a workable, accessible, progressive law. We’d also like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation, who contacted their own MHKs and all those who shared their stories publicly in the press, on the radio and with their families and friends.
But this isn’t CALM’s law, it’s not even Dr Allinson MHK’s law – although he’ll always be associated with it – it belongs to the women, and the men, of the Isle of Man.
THE ABORTION REFORM ACT 2019