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IoM pro-choice 'Handmaidens' hold demonstration

Protesters dress in Handmaiden costumes outside of Tynwald, Douglas. Credit: Helen McKenna, ITV

A protest has been held on the Isle of Man by pro-choice group Handmaids IOM.

It follows a presentation from UK anti-abortion group LIFE, who were invited to speak to Tynwald members this morning by David Anderson MHK.

The Handmaids said via their Facebook page: "We’re getting there but the race hasn’t been won yet. We won’t stop until women of the Isle of Man are able to have safe and legal abortions here on the Island."

A new draft Bill has been proposed by Dr Alex Allinson, which is being reviewed in 2018.

Final IoM draft abortion reform Bill to be presented in January

Dr Alex Allinson MHK for Ramsey proposed changes for an abortion reform Bill. Credit: Isle of Man Government

A final draft abortion reform Bill will be brought before the Isle of Man's House of Keys in January 2018.

Ramsey MHK Dr Alex Allinson has spent 11 months working on proposals, including allowing women a termination up to 14 weeks into pregnancy.

Results from a public consultation showed people largely support the Bill, with the results published on the Manx government website last month.


Will abortion law change on the Isle of Man?

The Manx Government decides today whether to grant leave to re-draw abortion laws on the Isle of Man.

At the moment terminations are restricted. They can include victims of rape or cases where it's thought a woman's mental health would be affected. Dr Alex Allinson explains the idea to have a debate over the issue.

Protest over Isle of Man abortion law

More than 100 women travelled to the UK from the Isle of Man last year to terminate pregnancies Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A protest over abortion laws will take place outside the Manx parliament in Douglas later.

Campaigners say 105 women are known to have travelled from the Isle of Man to the UK to terminate pregnancies last year. Abortion is only legal on the island where pregnancy seriously risks a woman's physical or mental health.

The Termination of Pregnancy Act 1995 is still the law governing abortions in the Isle of Man. Campaigners say it can be too difficult or too late for women to prove they meet them.

Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation (Calm) was founded in April aimed at updating the law's. Samantha Morris from the group spoke to Granada: