Welcome to the campaign for Humanity and Abortion Reform (HEAR) on the Isle of Man.
We are calling for the recognition of equal human dignity to inform our island’s laws governing abortion.
Scroll down the page to find out more, and see our pages on the fundamental issues of the unborn child and abortion.

Take Action

Dr. Alex Allinson MHK (Ramsey) is trying to introduce a Private Member’s Bill that would remove right-to-life protections from Manx law. Only if Islanders speak out against this can such harm be prevented from occurring.

Act now to write to your MHKs, as well as the MLCs, informing them of your views on this issue, and inviting them to engage in dialogue. Please be charitable and non-confrontational. Do also forward on to us what responses you get, so that we can help others engage with Tynwald on this vital topic!

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How does the current law in the Isle of Man operate?

Preserves the life of the late-term unborn child

After 24 weeks, it is the legal duty of the hospital surgeon performing the abortion to do so “in such manner as is best calculated to preserve the life of the child” and “to take such other actions as is reasonable in all the circumstances to preserve the life of the child”.

Preserves the life of the born-alive unborn child

If a baby is born alive during any abortion then “the hospital surgeon shall be under a duty to take all reasonable steps to preserve the life of the child”.

Discriminates against unborn with disabilities

Abortion is legal where the baby is “unlikely to survive birth” (up to birth), “unlikely to be capable of maintaining vital functions after birth” (up to birth), or “seriously handicapped”, meaning that “the handicap is not capable of being cured or substantially relieved by treatment or the passage of time” (up to 24 weeks). It explicitly, and uniquely discriminates against babies with disabilities.

Evidence-based safeguards

The law allows abortion when a hospital surgeon and independent doctor agree in good faith that a pregnancy has occurred due to “rape, incest, or indecent assault”, or there is a substantial risk of grave injury to the mental health of the mother. Formal evidence of sexual assault must be provided, and in the case of alleged risk to mental health, the independent doctor must be a consultant psychiatrist.

Requires medical objectivity

Of the two doctors making a good faith judgement on abortion, the ‘first’ doctor has to be the hospital surgeon performing the abortion, and the ‘second’ must be an ‘independent medical practitioner’. That is to say, a medical practitioner who is not a junior, partner, employee, or current or recent assistant/substitute, of the hospital surgeon.

Gives conscience protections

The law states that “[n]othing in this Act shall be construed as imposing any duty on any person to participate in any treatment authorised by this Act to which that person has a conscientious objection”, without requiring a burden of proof on the objector, and  explicitly prohibits firing or refusing to hire anyone with such objections.

What are the progressive reforms that the HEAR Campaign are proposing?

Improved pregnancy support

Help for pregnant mothers, not harm to their unborn children, is the answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy. Many women choose abortion because they feel they have no other choice due to interrupted education, financial problems, a lack of support or even pressure from their partner or family, and a host of other social or material difficulties. Rather than reduce legal protections for babies in the womb, and make abortion more widespread, our Government should provide support before as well as after birth, so that no woman ever feels that she needs to end the life of her child due to her personal situation.

Medical reforms for prenatal care

Humane alternatives to abortion for disability, that enable parents to experience hope and inclusion given a diagnosis or prognosis of disability in their unborn baby, is the humane and compassionate response to foetal disability. Not the discriminatory hopelessness of abortion. Examples of the medical reforms that would help include improved training and guidance for medical professionals, and the improved provision of information and support for parents (so that they have the realistic option of bearing and raising their disabled baby), palliative care for newborns with life-limiting disabilities, and adoption.

Abolish disability discrimination

The abortion lobby want to strip away the one protection in Manx law for babies with disabilities: the requirement that two doctors consider whether their disability might be cured or relieved over time. In Britain, this has led to 90% of babies prenatally detected with Down’s syndrome being aborted. Such an informally eugenic approach to prenatal disability is completely out of place in the 21st century, and our common commitment to human equality. Consequently, British law is already being challenged in precisely this area, and the Isle of Man has the chance once again to move ahead of our counterparts across.

protect mental health

There is no evidence that abortion leads to improved mental health outcomes; in fact abortion has been associated with a modest increase in risks of mental health problems. Yet the abortion lobby allege that there are not enough psychiatric consultants on the island for women to go through abortions on those grounds. Even if true, this is an argument for better funding and provision of psychiatric services, not a removal of evidence within abortion practice. Instead, the law should better safeguard mental health by requiring classification of the underlying condition allegedly at risk, and prescription of psychological treatment.

Introduce proper transparency

Unlike the UK Department of Health (for England and Wales), our Department of Health and Social Care does not collect and publish data on what abortions take place on the island and why. This means discussion on this issue lacks proper transparency and objectivity, and also hinders identifying how to help women who experience unplanned pregnancy. To better inform the public, our Government should arrange for such data collection.

Secure conscience protections

Since the UK Supreme Court decision in Greater Glasgow Health Board v Doogan & Another (2014) interpreted ‘participate’ and ‘treatment’ – the language common to both the Manx and British ‘conscience clauses’ for abortion – in a very restrictive sense, such that it meant “taking part in a ‘hands-on’ capacity” in abortions themselves, this means that Manx law’s protections could give limited protections in future legal cases. The law can be updated to secure the rights of medical professionals on the island.

What do the abortion lobby want, and why is it a bad idea?

Abortion lobbyists, incited by campaigners outside the island, are campaigning for a ‘copy and paste’ of the British Abortion Act 1967, which in practice has lead to the following inhumane and discriminatory practices. This is clearly not a model that we should be following on the Isle of Man.

55O LIVES ENDED EACH DAY

In 2015, 203,096 unborn children were aborted across Great Britain. At this rate, the total number will reach almost 8.75 million lives by the end of this year.

WOMEN HURT BY ABORTION

The psychological consequences for many women following a termination are real and their personal testimonies of their experiences cannot be denied.

90% OF UNBORN CHILDREN WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME IDENTIFIED IN THE WOMB ARE ABORTED

Children with disabilities are aborted up-to-birth and 90% of unborn children with Down’s syndrome identified in the womb are aborted.

LIVE BABIES LEFT TO DIE FOLLOWING ABORTIONS

Babies who do not die during an abortion procedure are routinely left to die. In one year 66 infants survived abortion attempts in NHS hospitals.

CHILDREN WITH CLUB FOOT AND OTHER MINOR DISABILITIES ABORTED

Disability grounds for abortion has opened up abortion to minor and treatable imperfections such as club foot and cleft palate. Between 2006 and 2010, 205 babies were aborted with club foot and 157 with cleft palate.

UNBORN CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES MAY BE ABORTED UP-TO-BIRTH

UK law places no gestational limit on the abortion of unborn children with disabilities allowing abortion for this group right up-to-birth.

BODIES OF UNBORN CHILDREN BURNT TO HEAT HOSPITALS

In 2014 it was revealed that the remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as ‘clinical waste’ by hospitals in Britain with some used in ‘waste to energy’ plants which generate power to heat hospitals.

SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION OF UNBORN GIRLS

A 2012 Telegraph investigation revealed that doctors were filmed agreeing to sex-selective abortions ‘no questions asked’. This experience is backed-up by first hand testimonies from women saying they have obtained sex-selective abortions.

OVER 75,000 REPEAT ABORTIONS EACH YEAR

Across Great Britain, the latest data from 2015 shows over 75,000 repeat abortions were undertaken. In England and Wales, in 2012, more than 4,500 women had had at least four abortions, 1,334 were on at least their fifth and 33 women had nine or more terminations.

News and press releases

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Who are we?

Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR) is the progressive campaign for abortion reform to be carried out on the Isle of Man in line with a recognition of the equal humanity and dignity of all members of the human family. We are run by a group of volunteers from around the island, and our main spokesperson is Susan Richardson.

For media enquiries, please call us on 07624 307922.
Otherwise, or for other matters, you can get through to us at contact@hearcampaign.im.