Public feedback sought on draft Abortion Bill

The Manx public is being asked for feedback on plans to update the Island's abortion laws.

The draft Private Members Bill put forward by Ramsey MHK Alex Allinson was published on the Government's website today, proposing allowing abortions for women up to 14 weeks pregnant on the Island.

Currently, women have to travel off Island for a private procedure unless they meet strict criteria, such as the pregnancy posing a risk to the woman's health.

Dr Allinson's Bill also proposes allowing women on the Island to have an abortion up to 24 weeks if there are risks to her health, the foetus being born with a physical or mental defect, the pregnancy is the result of rape or if there are serious social grounds to justify a termination.

A public consultation is now being held so the Bill can be refined before is it debated in Tynwald.

The full details of the Bill and details of how to respond to the consultation can be found on the Government's website.