Women who have used the island’s abortion service since May 2019 are being encouraged to submit their experiences to a Tynwald committee.

The Tynwald Social Affairs Policy Committee, chaired by Onchan MHK Julie Edge, is seeking for both positive and negative experiences of the service, but submissions need to be made by 5pm tonight.

The committee will not publish any written submission relating to an individual case without the consent of the individual concerned. The Committee may, however, publish written evidence relating to policy matters.

Abortions were only legalised on the island in 2019 after a campaign by the Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (CALM) and a Private Member’s Bill from Dr Alex Allinson. Throughout the push for modernising the island’s laws, the striking picture of the Handmaids at Tynwald Day became of the most iconic photographs of recent years. It was recently said by CALM that some women had told them that they were still travelling off island to receive an abortion, despite the change in the law on the island. CALM said: ‘We are horrified that this is still happening. Not what the Abortion Reform Act promised at all.’

Since 2019, women have been able to access abortions up to 14 weeks, up to 24 weeks for certain medical or social issues and after 24 weeks in very rare cases where the life or the baby or mother is at risk. 

To submit evidence, you can email committees@tynwald.org.im by 5pm tonight.

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