Anti-abortion protesters have acted with impunity for decades. That ends now
In a victory for women’s rights, a demonstrator has been found guilty of breaching safe access zones in Victoria
Tania Penovic and Ronli Sifris
Friday 13 October 2017
A 14-year-old girl, scared and vulnerable, realises that she is pregnant. A 43-year-old unemployed mother of five whose husband is recently deceased discovers she is pregnant and does not know how she will cope with another child. A 36-year-old woman with a planned pregnancy is processing a diagnosis of severe foetal abnormality.
Each year many Australian women deal with problem pregnancies. Some decide to continue with the pregnancy and some decide to terminate the pregnancy. Whatever the decision, they have a right to seek unbiased professional counselling and appropriate medical care; and they have a right to do so without being harassed, intimidated or interfered with as they are entering a clinic that provides the full range of reproductive health services. This is why Victoria’s safe access zone legislation, which prohibits certain conduct within 150m of a clinic at which abortions are provided, is so important.