The Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR) campaign is expressing concern at the evident negligence shown by the abortion industry and lobby towards the safety of Manx women.

Two weeks ago, the British Care Quality Commission (CQC) instigated the suspension of surgical abortions at abortion facilities of Marie Stopes International (MSI) in the UK. This was based on its discovery of the safety issues in MSI clinics surrounding the levels of training and competence in anaesthesia and sedation, and even ‘issues of consent’.

The CQC’s findings raise the question of how much the abortion industry really cares for the women to whom it provides abortions. It comes following the judge-ordered investigation into a Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, which in 2012 performed an abortion on a 32 year old Irish woman called Aisha Chithira, a mother-of-one who died from a heart attack in a taxi caused by extensive internal blood loss.

In the last week another abortion provider, the British Pregnancy and Advisory Service (BPAS) – whose Richmond branch was similarly censured by the CQC last year for breaking UK law, including in the way they were disposing of the bodies of dead babies after abortion, and the reporting of incidents where women had been harmed at their clinics – have announced that they have launched a phoneline that will be available to women taking illegal abortion pills purchased online in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the Isle of Man.

Such an action could endanger the health and lives of women by promoting the illegal use of potentially dangerous abortion pills. A study last year in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research concluded that, “Unsupervised medical abortion can lead to increased maternal morbidity and mortality. To curtail this harmful practice, strict legislations are required to monitor and also to restrict the sales of abortion pills over the counter and access to abortion pills for the public should be only through centres approved for [medical termination of pregnancy].”

As with the abortion lobby on the Island, BPAS are suggesting that significant numbers of Manx women are successfully smuggling illegal abortion pills onto the Island, yet they provide no evidence for this. Yet the phoneline they have launched could encourage such a practice, which is concerning given the health risks of consuming abortion pills online purchased online.

HEAR spokesperson Hannah Grove, said:

“These revelations and actions from the abortion industry across are hugely telling.

That MSI have been found to have issues not only with anaesthesia in surgical abortions, but even with ‘issues of consent’, is chilling. The CQC have not revealed the precise nature of these issues to the public, and even MSI could, they have neglected to do so. This demonstrates a further lack of transparency, and concern for addressing the concerns of the public whose funds they have taken for years.

Similarly, BPAS have engaged in a cheap and irresponsible publicity stunt which could seriously endanger the health and even the lives of pregnant mothers in the Isle of Man. If their phoneline encourages even one woman to smuggle illegal drugs, which are unsafe if taken outside a medical context, they will have caused profound harm.

It is this callous carelessness towards women’s welfare that has led to all the cases of individual women being ultimately harmed by the abortion industry. When sexually abused 13-year old Ashli Blake committed suicide after abortion in 2014, no questions were asked around safeguarding in the ‘clinic’ she attended. Young Mum Jade Rees last year, and artist Emma Beck in 2007, also ended their own lives after being left personally scarred by abortions.

Yet despite this appalling behaviour and its consequences, the abortion lobby on the Island have indicated their support for BPAS in its phoneline, and expressed concern only that the MSI suspension will limit abortion access. This is truly disgraceful, and their total silence on the concerns raised by either issue suggests that their ideological commitment to the industrial provision of abortions trumps any truly feminist concerns for the safety of women.

Unlike the abortion industry and its lobby on the Island, the right-to-life movement is concerned about mother and baby. We call on our Government to focus on helping women with the real problems that lead to some feeling that they can’t cope with a pregnancy, and providing the support both they and their unborn child truly need.” ENDS

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