Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queenslan

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Evangelical Christians step up abortion clinic protests in Queensland
Pro-choice groups send volunteers to escort women as state prepares to decriminalise

Ben Smee
Mon 18 Jun 2018

An evangelical group has ramped up demonstrations outside several Brisbane abortion clinics as Queensland prepares to reform its 1899 laws that make abortion a criminal offence.

Guardian Australia is aware of several recent verbal clashes between members of the anti-abortion group “Project 139” and clinic patients. The group has sought and received permits to conduct protests at four Brisbane clinics until at least August.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/19/evangelical-christians-step-up-abortion-clinic-protests-in-queensland

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Abortion clinic ‘safe access zones’ become law in NSW

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Abortion clinic 'safe access zones' become law in NSW

By Lisa Visentin
8 June 2018

Protesters will face jail time for harassing people outside abortion facilities after NSW Parliament passed laws to impose 150-metre "safe access zones" around clinics and hospitals that provide terminations.

The laws, which are aimed at ensuring the privacy and safety of women accessing clinics, passed easily and without amendment through the Legislative Assembly, with a final vote of 61 to 18 in favour.

Continued: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-become-law-in-nsw-20180607-p4zk18.html

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Ban on anti-abortion protests at London clinic disproportionate, court hears

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Ban on anti-abortion protests at London clinic disproportionate, court hears
Council accused of infringing freedom of speech with ban at Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing

Dan Sabbagh
Thu 7 Jun 2018

An anti-abortion group seeking to overturn the UK’s only exclusion zone around a Marie Stopes clinic, in Ealing, west London, have told judges they believe the council’s actions amounted to an illegal discrimination against their right to free speech and peaceful protest.

Alasdair Henderson, a lawyer representing a woman who is a member of the Good Counsel Network, said that the ban on protesters from being within 100 metres of the clinic should be struck down because the effect on the anti-abortion group was “inherently disproportionate”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/anti-abortion-protests-ban-ealing-marie-stopes-clinic-london

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Canada – Safe-access zones at abortion clinics are constitutional

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Opinion: Safe-access zones at abortion clinics are constitutional

Joyce Arthur
Updated: May 31, 2018

There’s been much misinformation in the debate over Bill 9, the proposed safe-access zone law to protect Alberta’s abortion clinics. Surprisingly, those who oppose the bill seem unaware that British Columbia has enforced a very similar law since 1995 and it’s been held to be constitutional.

Since the Alberta law was closely adapted from B.C.’s law, we can be confident it will also meet Charter scrutiny. In fact, based on the legal soundness of the B.C. law, similar laws have recently been passed in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, and Ontario. Alberta is simply following in their footsteps.

Continued: http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-safe-access-zones-at-abortion-clinics-are-constitutional

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Alberta passes bill legislating ‘safe zones’ around abortion clinics

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Alberta passes bill legislating 'safe zones' around abortion clinics
Bill sets 50-metre protester-free zones around stand-alone clinics in Edmonton and Calgary

Michelle Bellefontaine · CBC News
Posted: May 30, 2018

A bill setting a 50-metre protester-free zone around the province's two stand-alone abortion clinics passed Wednesday in the Alberta legislature.

The bill passed 45-1 without participation of members from the Official Opposition United Conservative Party.

Continued: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-passes-bill-legislating-safe-zones-around-abortion-clinics-1.4684773

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UK – Abortion clinic buffer zones set ‘dangerous precedent’ for freedom of speech, campaigners say

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Abortion clinic buffer zones set 'dangerous precedent' for freedom of speech, campaigners say

Olivia Rudgard, Social and Religious Affairs Correspondent
28 May 2018

Abortion clinic buffer zones set a “dangerous precedent” for freedom of speech, campaigners have warned as they bid to overturn them.

Civil liberties groups have written to the seven councils who are currently considering public space protection orders to stop "pro-life" campaigners from standing outside abortion clinics to protest, warning that they impose "potentially unlawful restrictions on the rights of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression".

Continued; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/05/28/abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-set-dangerous-precedent-freedom/

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USA – I helped women get abortions for 28 years — through protests and shifting rules

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I helped women get abortions for 28 years — through protests and shifting rules

By Joan Finn-McCracken
May 25, 2018
Joan Finn-McCracken is a former teacher and nurse practitioner. She was a director of Planned Parenthood clinics for 32 years.

One of the first patients who came to our family-planning clinic in Billings, Mont., newly opened in 1969, sought help after she and her boyfriend had hitchhiked 500 miles from Billings to Colorado to terminate a pregnancy. Colorado was one of the five states where abortions could be legally obtained. They had heard about Colorado through his older sister, and were able to borrow enough money for the procedure but not enough for a bus ticket. She was 17, unmarried and so desperate to return home before anyone missed her that she did not stay for her follow-up appointment. Now she came to us for follow-up care, as well as birth control.

Although I was the mother of five children and a graduate of the Duke University School of Nursing, and had taught in two nursing schools, I knew little about abortion. Our patient was afraid to go to her family doctor because she was not sure what was legal or illegal. And neither was I. But I did know we could not prescribe her birth control — it was against the law for anyone under 18.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/i-helped-women-get-abortions-for-28-years--through-protests-and-shifting-rules/2018/05/25/4f680826-5eb8-11e8-a4a4-c070ef53f315_story.html

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Australia: Abortion laws: bill to establish exclusion zones likely to pass NSW parliament

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Abortion laws: bill to establish exclusion zones likely to pass NSW parliament
Laws would establish ‘safe access’ around clinics and proposes potential jail time for harassment within zones

Michael McGowan
Wed 23 May 2018

A bill to establish exclusion zones around abortion clinics in New South Wales is likely to pass the state’s parliament.

The legislation would establish 150m “safe access zones” around abortion clinics and proposes potential jail time for people caught harassing people within the zones.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/23/abortion-laws-bill-to-establish-exclusion-zones-likely-to-pass-nsw-parliament

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Law Seeks to Curb Abortion Protests in Australia

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Law Seeks to Curb Abortion Protests in Australia

May 19, 2018
Phil Mercer

SYDNEY — Protests outside abortion clinics are to be outlawed under new laws proposed in Australia's most populous state. The legislation will be debated in the coming days in the New South Wales parliament.

It is estimated that up to 80,000 Australian women terminate a pregnancy each year. While abortion laws vary across the country, in New South Wales the procedure isn't illegal if it safeguards a woman's mental or physical health.

Continued: https://www.voanews.com/a/law-seeks-curb-abortion-protests-australia/4401079.html

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Australia – ‘Safe zones’ around abortion clinics don’t threaten free speech, Victoria says

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'Safe zones' around abortion clinics don't threaten free speech, Victoria says
State government tells high court that anti-abortion protesters are not engaged in public debate but are targeting women for their medical choices

Paul Karp
Thu 17 May 2018

“Safe access zones” around abortion clinics do not breach Australians’ limited right to free speech because protesters are not engaged in public debate but rather targeting women for their medical choices, the Victorian government has said.

The Victorian government has made the submission to the high court, warning that without safe access zones some women who need abortion services will decide “to delay or not to seek those services at all”.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/18/safe-zones-around-abortion-clinics-dont-threaten-free-speech-victoria-says

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