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Keys backs bill to change Manx abortion laws

Proposals to allow women same rights as in England

A bid to modernise abortion law in the Isle of Man has received a cautious welcome.

The House of Keys has allowed Ramsey MHK Alex Allinson to introduce a private members bill to allow women in the Island the same rights as those in England, Scotland and Wales.

New proposals will now be drafted.

In the Island, abortions are only allowed in a limited number of instances such as when a pregnancy has resulted from rape or because of a woman's mental health needs.

Summing up at the end of the debate, Dr Allinson said he appreciated that abortion was a controversial subject, but that was not a reason to ignore it. And he rejected a suggestion from Chris Robertshaw MHK that it was a brave move bringing the bill forward.

A call to firstly establish a five member committee to consider detailed evidence was defeated but Dr Allinson admitted it would be useful later on as part of a full and frank debate.

His move was supported by 21 votes to 3.

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