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Abortion access zones decision deferred for two weeks

Wed, 14 Mar 2018

A decision about the introduction of access zones around surgeries providing abortions has been delayed.

The House of Keys debated the issue at this week's sitting, but deferred the decision by two weeks.

Douglas East MHK Chris Robertshaw was among those to criticise the proposals, but Health Minister David Ashford admitted he thinks such zones are necessary.

The zones would prevent protests outside hospitals and clinics providing abortion services, as well as around the homes of doctors.

Mr Robertshaw believes its impractical to police such zones around the homes of healthcare professionals, but the Minister highlights recent protests by Abort 67, admitting the group's actions are why he thinks such buffer zones are needed.

Home Affairs Minister Bill Malarkey revealed he recently received a graphic image of an unborn child in the post, and that he expects such images would be used by protesters in the future if the access zones aren't introduced.

Ramsey MHK Dr Alex Allinson's Abortion Reform Bill would give more women access to terminations on the Island.

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