Abortion is illegal on the Isle of Man unless carried out after a criminal offence or on mental health grounds. Will this change during the next Parliament?
Browse content similar to 23/01/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello and welcome to Inside Out. This week, we report on why women
for the Isle of Man are leaving the island to have abortions.
Unfortunately it is not funded by the NHS and they have to finance the
procedure themselves. We discover how sport is helping
those who are blind or losing their sight. Before this I was isolated
and didn't know what to do, so coming along here has been an
opportunity to both play competitive sport and both socialise.
And we meet artist Stan Chow, who's gone from drawing on chip paper to
drawing Donald Trump for the cover of the New York Times. I struggled
with him a bit. I think I finally got him!
Terminating a pregnancy can be one of the most difficult decisions any
But on the Isle of Man, current law prevents abortion
Tomorrow that could all change with a new proposal which would
transform the law for the first time in 20 years.
The Isle of Man is situated 80 miles off the Lancashire coast,
and although separate from the UK with its own Parliament,
the laws that govern the island are almost exactly the same.
They do, however, differ on a very divisive issue - abortion.
Abortion is legal in Great Britain up to 24 weeks, under
The Isle of Man's Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1995 legalised
abortion but only under strict criteria, where the pregnancy risks
causing grave permanent injury to the woman's physical
This has meant that the official number of abortions on the Isle
of Man is usually around ten per year.
Since April last year, a group of Manx women have been
fighting for their right to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies.
The Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation, or Calm,
want to bring Manx law more in line with Great Britain.
Well, we're aware that 479 women in the last five years have
travelled across to the UK, so that's around about 98 women
a year who are travelling, and those are just the ones
In the UK, the vast majority of terminations, 80%,
are performed at under ten weeks, which involves taking two
sets of tablets under the supervision of a doctor.
Any woman living on the Isle of Man wishing to abort a pregnancy
would either have to travel to Britain, or some women have been
ordering the same tablets online and having a miscarriage at home
And the fact that people can go to their doctors and ask,
"Can I have an abortion?", and they're told, "We can't help
you", so they're left to their own devices,
they're left to google, to find out what their options are.
Anyone found guilty of aborting a child on the island could face
We hear from people who have taken abortion tablets at home
with no medical support, who are then scared and frightened,
They can't go to A because they're terrified that they're going to get
in trouble and that they're going to be put in prison.
Just before the Manx election in September,
another group of campaigners formed a group called Humanity and Equality
They say they represent the life of the unborn child.
The reason I'm passionate about the abortion issue is for three reasons.
Human beings have the right to life and an unborn child is a human
being and should be given that right and needs to be spoken for.
He treated people with mental difficulties that arose
from past abortions, and thirdly, I've had a career
as a GP and looked after many pregnant women and many unexpected
pregnancies that became a real blessing.
The thing is, though, we've got to balance the right
of the woman to life and health and the right of the baby to life
and health, and in my view you cannot say that the baby is not
Both campaigns were very vocal in the run-up to the Manx elections
in September and are hoping to influence the new Health and
But she says the Government is very clear on this issue.
We don't have a position going one way or another with regard
We're going to review it to see if it needs updating.
But obviously it's too early to say which way that's going to go.
The law here is very different to the UK.
Presumably there wasn't an appetite for it.
You've got two groups that both say different things.
Maybe that's why it hasn't changed, as there are two opposing forces.
We are at the beginning of the process, looking at it
and seeing if there's an appetite for change.
Currently, Manx citizens can travel to the UK for health care that can't
be provided on the island, such as cancer treatment,
neurological surgery and even complicated antenatal care.
The NHS on the Isle of Man foots the bill, including
Abortion is one of the few exceptions.
This has led to many women going away, travelling
One of the organisations that deals with them is BPAS.
BPAS is a not-for-profit reproductive charity.
It sees 70,000 women funded by NHS clinic across the UK.
We provide pregnancy advice, contraception, abortion care.
Women from the Isle of Man are able to receive treatment but it's not
funded by the NHS and they have to finance it themselves.
We know women in areas are unable to get access
The medication is safe but it's illegal and they
Does it concern you that women who can't afford to travel are maybe
That is a concern and that's something we're working with the UK
authorities and the Customs Excise to bring in line quickly,
It's also a criminal offence if those tablets
Technically, I suppose, but it's hardly likely.
The medical professionals over here say it's not illegal
But it could be put to the test as early as tomorrow morning.
Dr Alex Allinson, a former GP and new member of the House of Keys,
hopes raising the issue tomorrow will result in a change in the law.
This is an incredibly vibrant place to live.
We are groundbreaking in terms of civil partnerships and we've got
an Equality Bill coming through, so why shouldn't we look
at the abortion law as well and make sure it's up-to-date for the women
Until then, women will continue to make the journey across the sea.
But as they aren't entitled to NHS care, most will have to pay.
Her organisation is many women's last resort.
They provide financial assistance to those
Between having a child and not having one.
The money for the procedure, travel, all the costs, it adds up.
?400 to ?2,000, which is not something that everybody has.
For most of us, we come to it with this idea of, I'm a parent and this
is a big deal, and you want to give that job to somebody who wants that
job and not as a punishment for a job and not as a punishment for a
broken condom or a lapse in judgment or being raped.
Before I contacted you, I was looking for ways to self-abort.
She thought the shock to her system would cause a miscarriage.
No, for the child it's life or death.
For the mother it is not usually a choice of life or death.
It's a choice of a very difficult situation that
she's found herself in, and that's an agonising situation,
and we all have to take responsibility for the agonising
Those in favour of abortion often suggest the debate centres
upon when the foetus becomes sufficiently human to
Opponents believe the foetus is never anything other
than human from conception, and therefore has a right
It's a key point in the debate, especially for those
involved in drafting laws regulating abortion.
There will be a period of public consultations, but ultimately,
it's up to the members of the House of Keys to decide whether
Social isolation can be a major problem for people who are blind or
partially sighted. But in Lancashire, sport is playing a
surprising role in helping young people who are born without vision
or are losing their sight. Simon O'Brien investigates.
Take a careful look. This is no ordinary game of cricket. Which is
just as well! Because these are no ordinary players. All of the people
playing are blind or partially sighted. Yeah, I know. How do they
do that? Good question. And who better to answer it than the club
founder, who himself is partially sighted? First of all, this game,
communication is a massive factor. In this game. If you have limited
sight, audibility is a big part. The ball is going to bounce twice, so
that blind or low sighted player who comes into that classification has
an opportunity to hear the ball on bounce, second bounce, so they have
an opportunity to play. You can feel quite isolated at times so this is a
way of getting like minds together. When they first come, some are quite
reserved and they try to do other sports and don't do as well, but
coming with those first steps in breaking the ice and having a sense
of belonging, somebody belonging to a club that they can relate to, it's
grown so much and the members have grown so much in confidence and
become their own people. And, as you can see, they are pretty good at it!
Last year, the Lancashire cup in Lions finished second in the blind
league for the second year in a row and made it to the blind sports
final. The team is mixed. Male and female. It's made up of all ages,
from 11 to 64. Saleem has been playing for two seasons for them and
is now training the England blind is now training the England blind
development squad. Keen cricket player? I actually don't like
cricket! Funnily enough! How come you got involved with the Lions,
then? Is because I'm eager to get involved in competitive sport.
didn't know what to do, so coming didn't know what to do, so coming
along here gives me an opportunity to play competitive sport, but apart
from that, is the opportunity to meet new people. He and his younger
sister Nadia were born with a genetic site condition. It
degenerative, causing them to lose degenerative, causing them to lose
Van Gogh has any sight in his left Van Gogh has any sight in his left
eye and only limited vision in his right. -- he no longer has any
sight. A lot of people with people have tunnel vision as well as night
blindness, and does the condition gets worse, their central vision
starts to go and leaves you totally blind. I had to deal with things,
OK, my site is going, and it's a question of accepting it or falling
it into, I guess, depression. -- my sight. I didn't have role models but
claim to know what would happen so I had to bite the bullet, live my life
and, you know, I lived by this motto that I might be blind but I have a
vision, and if I can just carry on living my life, inspiring people.
Which is what he does. As well as being an excellent cricketer and
all-round sportsman, he is a very good musician. And he writes his own
blog, the aptly named Blind Journalist. I think my blog played a
big impact, because again, it was a platform for me to portray the work
I've done, and now I'm currently working at BBC radio Manchester. I
want to work at Northwest tonight. It's a scheme where you get to work
all over the BBC and become a multi-platform journalist. Sport
plays a big role in all of the lives plays a big role in all of the lives
of the men here, but nowhere more so than in the lives -- the life of
Amelia. I got a phone call saying, would you like to come and play for
us? And I was over the moon because I just couldn't wait to go and play
for cricket, because I had never been able to play cricket because I
would just miss every shot when the ball came. But I was actually
managing to hit the ball doing it this way and it gave me a good
feeling. I like the cricket itself. But I also like the people and
playing with because they are so nice and so supportive of you.
Amelia's mum and dad believed playing sport has helped her
confidence. She loves it. She's a different child when she is doing
it. She gets such a buzz from it, doesn't she? She does. I couldn't
really imagine her... How she would be if she didn't have it. And
actually feels that she can play the game very well with other people who
are visually impaired, whereas I think before she thought, I'm not
properly. And it's changed around properly. And it's changed around
that she's thinking, I can be, I can do well. And she doesn't just stop
at cricket. At his school -- her school, Amelia joined in with all
the other children. Apart from Amelia, every other girl can see
perfectly well and you probably couldn't tell the difference with
her being there. She's as able as anybody else. If you really try then
you can go far. So... Like me. I want to be in the Paralympics. So
that's where I'm going to want to get. Now, listen, I've been watching
you play. I'm no good at cricket at the best of times and I'll have a go
in it. Give me some advice, some tips. Just listen carefully and try
to hit the ball! Thanks for that(!) When you hit the ball, try to see if
there's spaces between any of the players fielding. OK, all right. But
how can I do that? Because I'll be blindfolded. You can ask them to
give you a clap. OK, so before I have a go, I get everyone to clap
and so I know where they are. Thanks for that. Top piece of advice. I
actually find this whole experience utterly humbling. Completely
uplifting. But at the same time, quite distressing, because about
three years ago, I had a freak accident and after a
desperate operations, the eyesight desperate operations, the eyesight
in my left eye deteriorated until in the end it's just nothing, so if I
close my right eye, I am in their world. I can see nothing at all. But
to see these guys, and I thought I to see these guys, and I thought I
went for a bad time, to see these guys being so positive, what an
amazing group of people. Well, I guess it's my turn now, isn't it? As
I say, I'll have to close one eye and put the blindfold on. And
humiliate myself! Here I go! Collide have a clap just in case I do find a
gap? Can we have some clapping? OK, yeah. That didn't help at all!
Thanks very much(!) OK... Ha-ha! Right, I give up! Thanks! Brilliant,
that! Cheers. Brilliant. Honestly, I was never any good at cricket anyway
and I can tell you that is just simply impossible! How they play
that game is beyond me. Amazing. Amazing testimony to the skill
involved there. Incredible. I don't think they're going to call me next
week! It's the Chinese Year
of the Rooster, and if you've been out and about in recent weeks,
you'll have seen the posters They were designed by the Manchester
illustrator Stan Chow, whose work is in demand
across the globe. Stan Chow is famed for his
distinctive two-dimensional illustrations which grace walls
and magazine covers Closer to home, they're featured
on Manchester's Metrolink network and promote
the Chinese New Year celebrations. When I'm going round Manchester
with my kids and they spot my work, they're like, "Daddy,
did you do that?" and I say, "Yeah, I did,"
and there's work that I did that they will just recognise cos
it's my style. I'm thrilled to be doing
the Chinese New Year stuff and thrilled to be doing
stuff for Manchester. Stan is first-generation
British Chinese. His parents came over from Hong Kong
to work in the catering trade. My dad came over to England
in the late '50s and worked in a restaurant in Halifax,
and then moved to Alderley Edge I'd be sat in the back with the chip
paper in the back and I'd I don't remember having any toys cos
we weren't that well-off. So basically my toy
was just drawing pictures. When I was growing up, I was
the only Chinese boy in the town. In the suburbs it was
hard being Chinese. I was subjected to
certain types of racism. There were four or five kids
who would do the slanty-eyed stuff and there was kind of you just
accepted it, to a certain degree. And I used to go to school
with my packed lunch and my mum would give me my lunch in a Chinese
supermarket carrier bag, and that used to freak me out loads
cos I don't want to be Chinese, I want to be English,
cos everyone else is English, and that's pretty much how I felt
during my school years. But Stan is now fiercely proud
of his Chinese heritage and his childhood memories
are the inspiration for an exhibition of his work
at Manchester's Centre For Chinese My favourite one, I would say,
is the fried dace one. It's basically cans of fried
fish, and that was my I've hash-tagged it "food
of the gods", and I used to eat that a lot when I was a child,
so I thought that was I've done me as a banana, cos
basically, when I was growing up, when I met other Chinese friends
or going back to Hong Kong they'll always describe me as a banana boy ?
white on the inside and yellow I see myself as more
English than Chinese, so they have a case in calling me
a banana boy, really! You know, and when it comes
to football or sport, even though it's important,
it's secondary and I see myself Stan's distinctive 2D style evolved
after he'd finished art college. His dad, with an eye to the future,
bought him a computer, and swapping his pencil for mouse,
Stan learnt to draw digitally. Much of his work is of sports stars,
inspired by the Panini Collecting football
stickers was my life blood. And when I started to
do my illustrations, I just wanted to portray that
simplicity of the head shot, and at the time,
when I started doing my style, no-one was really illustrating
like that, so I guess I kind of made them my own,
really, to kind of Hotel Football have got all my work
in there in their space and it's great that Gary Neville
and his mates like my stuff enough But Stan's big break came
from an unusual source. American band The White Stripes
spotted a bootleg poster Stan had designed for one of their gigs
and got in touch. which were loaded with the album on,
and these got nominated for Best Packaging in the 2008
Grammy Awards, and that was it - Stan had broken into the American
market and was soon illustrating for the prestigious
New Yorker magazine. All the best artists tend to end
up in the New Yorker, and when you're growing up looking
through illustration annuals, all your favourite artists seem
to work for the New Yorker. And that's something that I felt
like I should strive for. And then actually being in it,
I was like, "Woah! And then from being in
the New Yorker, I ended up being in Time magazine
and the New York Times and the Wall St Journal
and stuff like that, so just from this bootleg poster
for The White Stripes, it's opened up a whole new door
for me, a whole new world. Stan landed his most
prestigious commission yet - the front page of the New York Times
- with his illustration of Donald Trump, at the height
of the Presidential campaign. We had this idea for Donald Trump
on a hot air balloon. The thing about Donald Trump
is that he's got a very kind of chameleon face,
you know, and for me, I struggled with him a bit
but I think I finally got him. You look at a picture
of Donald Trump and he seems to look And the way I illustrate things,
I make them as expressionless as possible, so I'm trying to cut
out all the expression, and I finally got there
but he was tricky to do. Stan sells his prints all over
the world and believes art should I don't want to limit it to rich
people who can only have their art. It means the student who's a fan
of my work can buy a print cheaply. ?20 is pretty reasonably
priced, if you ask me. From chip paper to the New York
Times, Stan has come a long way and sees himself not just as a role
model for Chinese kids In terms of Chinese role models,
all I had was Bruce Lee. It wasn't just Chinese
guys who liked him - everyone liked him, and I think
that was really important. That he crossed over
from being Chinese and then actually being a success among the Western
white world is fantastic, and that's something that there's
probably not enough of in society now, so if I'm a role model
for anyone, then that's great. I am sure we'll be seeing a lot more
of his work. That's all from us for this week. See you next week.
Goodbye. Have you got cannabis in there by
any chance? Next week, we investigate the growing number of
people driving under the influence of drugs. They could potentially go
to prison. They'll lose their job, their license and they just don't
think about this before they go out on the road.
Abortion is illegal on the Isle of Man unless carried out after a criminal offence or on mental health grounds. Jacey Normand investigates whether this will change during the next Parliament.
And the programme meets Manchester illustrator Stan Chow, who has gone from doodling on chip paper to the front page of the New York Times.