Explainer: what are abortion clinic safe-access zones and where do they exist in Australia?
June 14, 2018
New South Wales recently became the fifth Australian jurisdiction to enact legislation that establishes safe-access zones around abortion clinics.
The legislation is a response to picketing of clinics by anti-abortion protesters for more than two decades. These protesters characterise themselves as “sidewalk counsellors” but their conduct has included verbal abuse, threats, impeding entry to clinics, displaying violent imagery and acts of “disturbing theatre” such as pushing a blood-splattered doll in a pram.
Safe-access zones are sometimes called bubble zones because they create a bubble around an abortion clinic in which certain conduct is prohibited. NSW will now impose safe-access zones of 150 metres around clinics that provide abortions.