The Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR) campaign is disappointed by the decision yesterday by the House of Keys not only to grant leave for Dr. Alex Allinson MHK to propose a Private Members Bill, but to reject amendments that would have allowed a Select Committee to consult widely and create an evidence-based foundation for Tynwald to review current law.

Dr. Alex Allinson MHK has been involved with the abortion lobby from its inception on the Isle of Man, and has made clear that he will frame a Bill that will take us in the wrong, regressive direction. In his speeches to the House of Keys yesterday, he made clear that he would want to see right-to-life protections for unborn children (whose humanity and dignity he ignored, and whom he referred to by the favoured abortion lobby euphemism, ‘foetus’) decreased.

That the House of Keys rejected the entirely sensible and common-sensical amendment by Chris Robertshaw MHK to instead set up a five-person Select Committee to examine the question of abortion, even whilst supported by Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK, seems especially improvident. A special Select Committee could have made an objective and unbiased review of legislation, discerning with the widest possible consultation whether changing the law is necessary or not, and if so, in what way.

By introducing legislation first however, and from so partisan a figure as Dr. Allinson, the House has authorised a legislative action that biases consideration in one direction. This despite the welcome desire expressed by various MHKs that both sides of the abortion debate be listened to and considered equally.

Despite this, HEAR intends to prepare to properly examine the draft Bill that Dr. Allinson puts forward, inform Tynwald as to its expected shortcomings, and advocate as best as possible for the dignity and balanced rights of pregnant mothers and their unborn babies.

HEAR spokesperson Hannah Grove, said:

The House of Keys vote yesterday for a biased legislative effort in the wrong, regressive, inhumane direction, was very disappointing. It was sad also not only to hear nothing said by any member of the House about the dignity and rights of the unborn child, but to hear patent falsehoods go un-refuted, or facts stated without full context.

Dr. Allinson mentioned the famous Bourne case in England that allowed for abortion under extreme circumstances. He did not mention that Dr. Aleck Bourne who was the Doctor behind the case went on to oppose the Abortion Act 1967 in principled opposition to the possibility of abortion on demand, which Dr. Allinson apparently supports.

He also claimed that abortion was an important part of ‘healthcare’. Yet abortion does not function in any meaningful way to restore or safeguard health. It is lethally destructive of the very life of an unborn child, and does no good to the woman at all. In fact, contrary to comments made in the House yesterday by Clare Bettison MHK, as Professor David Fergusson of Otago University in New Zealand, a supporter of legal abortion (and a self-described ‘atheist rationalist’) who has studied the mental health effects of abortion in depth, has said in the British Journal of Psychiatry:

“… there is now growing evidence for two major conclusions about abortion and mental health. First, exposure to abortion is an adverse life event which is associated with a modest increase in risks of mental health problems. Second, the mental health risks associated with abortion may be larger, and certainly are not smaller, than the mental health risks associated with unwanted pregnancies that come to term”.

In a more recent study, Prof. Fergusson and his colleagues have also concluded:

“There is no available evidence to suggest that abortion has therapeutic effects in reducing the mental health risks of unwanted or unintended pregnancy”.

Nothing could be further from the principle of social justice than abortion, especially in its permissive forms. This is why those like Dr. Allinson, Ms. Bettison, Mr. Hooper, and others, have to ignore the humanity of unborn children, and the brutal destruction that abortion constitutes. It is contrary to this that HEAR will be arguing for the right to life of the unborn, and for a direction of abortion reform that respects and loves both pregnant mothers and babies in the womb.

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