Humanity and Equality in Abortion Reform (HEAR) has described the bill as ’extremely regressive legislation’ with nothing to recommend it.
The campaign group say there are a ’number of seriously flawed provisions that would make Manx abortion law significantly more inhumane’.
HEAR spokesman Sue Richardson said: ’This Bill would make our laws more inhumane and take us backwards.
’It would remove the already tenuous conscience protections in law, worsen disability discrimination, enable late-term feticide and introduce abortion on demand, effectively not even up to 14 weeks but to 24 weeks by its undefined health and social clauses.
’Rather than learn from the failures across, which have had terrible consequences, this draft legislation emulates them.
’It would make our law more discriminatory, more lax and permissive, and abolish key safeguards that were wisely included in 1995.
She added: ’We call on as many members of the public to write in to the consultation opposing these dehumanising provisions, and call for real humanity and equality to be involved in abortion reform, by increasing protections for unborn children, and giving better material support for pregnant mothers and their babies in the womb.’
They argue the ’flaws’ include:
â?¢ Introducing abortion on demand, for any reason ostensibly up to 14 weeks, and potentially up to 24 weeks given the vague construction of abortion to avoid ’a risk of serious injury to the pregnant woman’s life or health’ and ’serious social grounds’;
â?¢ Worsening disability discrimination in current Manx abortion law, as the already existent discrimination against babies with disabilities in the law, will be introduced up to birth;
â?¢ Removing important protections for unborn babies, including the current requirement that if a baby is born alive during any abortion then ’the hospital surgeon shall be under a duty to take all reasonable steps to preserve the life of the child’. This will encourage and introduce the barbaric practice of feticide, in which a baby is caused a fatal heart attack so as not to survive a late abortion.
â?¢ Removing legal penalties in the Criminal Code, meaning cases like the recent callous case in Northern Ireland would be impossible to prosecute up to 28 weeks.
â?¢ Compromising conscience protections for medical professionals, who will now not only have the burden of proof put on them, but will be obliged to be materially complicit in abortion by referring to other doctors.
â?¢ Deleting safeguards in the form of the two-doctor rule and required evidence-basis. Not only will this be removed up to 14 weeks, but only an attending physician will have to approve an abortion after that time, rather than an independent medical practitioner also.