Australia – Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll review: Fiona Patten and the right to speak

Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll review: Fiona Patten and the right to speak

By Pat Sheil
16 October 2018

MEMOIR: Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll, by Fiona Patten. Allen & Unwin, $32.99

"I am an advocate for free speech, but not of a free audience." So declared Fiona Patten, former sex worker, anti-censorship lobbyist, and founder of the Australian Sex Party during the heated debate on restricting the ability of so-called "right to life" activists to protest outside abortion clinics in the Victorian parliament in 2015.

Continued: https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/sex-drugs-and-the-electoral-roll-review-fiona-patten-and-the-right-to-speak-20181015-h16ng8.html

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Australia – Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women’s dignity hurt: lawyer

Abortion clinic protests should be allowed even if women's dignity hurt: lawyer
Anti-abortion campaigners tell the high court that safe zones breach their political freedom

Paul Karp
Tue 9 Oct 2018

Anti-abortion campaigners should be allowed to protest outside clinics, even if it harms the dignity of women entering the clinics or hurts their feelings, lawyers for anti-abortion protesters argued today.

On Tuesday the high court held a hearing into anti-abortion campaigners’ constitutional challenge against Tasmanian and Victorian laws prohibiting protests in “safe zones” outside abortion clinics.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-protests-should-be-allowed-even-if-womens-dignity-hurt-lawyer

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Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia’s high court

Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia's high court
Campaigners challenging Victorian and Tasmanian laws argue they stifle free speech

Melissa Davey
Mon 8 Oct 2018

The validity of the safe-access-zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania that prevent anti-abortion protesters from harassing women seeking medical treatment will be challenged before the high court on Tuesday.

The Victorian case has been brought by anti-abortion campaigner Kathleen Clubb, who was the first person to be convicted of breaking Victoria’s safe-access-zone laws in 2016. The laws mean anti-abortion protesters cannot protest within 150m of health and fertility clinics. Clubb was fined $5,000 for communicating about abortion to a woman attending an East Melbourne medical clinic. Clubb’s conduct was found to be “reasonably likely to cause distress or anxiety”.

continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/09/abortion-clinic-safe-access-zones-face-challenge-in-australias-high-court

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Canada – Graphic Anti-Abortion Signs Feel Like Visual Terrorism, But Should They Be Banned?

Graphic Anti-Abortion Signs Feel Like Visual Terrorism, But Should They Be Banned?
*Trigger Warning: This article discusses the graphic imagery used by some anti-abortion protesters*

by Katherine Singh
Sep 26, 2018

It was a typical Friday afternoon in July for Apiecalypse Now! owner Jennifer Bundock. The vegan pizzeria owner was driving to her east end Toronto location when she received a text from the manager of her west end location: “We’ve got a situation.”

Anti-abortion activists had set up shop in front of the restaurant with graphic signs. She pulled a U-turn and headed back to the Bloor Street spot, passing the old Honest Ed’s lot and pulling up 10 minutes later in front of her restaurant. Then she started live-streaming on Instagram. In a now-viral video, Bundock exits her car and confronts a group of anti-abortion activists, who were standing outside of her restaurant in plain view of the front window, holding large signs depicting dismembered and bloody fetuses. What the video didn’t show? Bundock’s customers, who were attempting to stand in front of the protestors’ signs when she arrived, trying to shield the images from passersby as well as the daycare and Girl Scout office around the corner.

Continued: https://www.flare.com/news/anti-abortion-signs/

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UK – The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones

The government is wrong to dismiss abortion clinic buffer zones
Protests outside abortion clinics are a form of harassment which undermine the free choices of women

By Sophie Kilminster
September 22, 2018

Last week, Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected calls for buffer zones outside abortion clinics by saying that protest-free areas around clinics “would not be a proportionate response” to the harassment from protestors. Now perhaps it’s the English student in me, but the suggestion of a “proportionate response” seems to imply that the Home Secretary feels we should wait for a ‘proportionate’ number of women to be harassed before any action is taken to stop this harassment.

Abortion is a contentious issue, but I believe wrongly so; abortion should be personal and the business of only the woman who needs it, like any medical procedure. Protestors have attempted to undermine women’s choices through tactics such as physically blocking the patient’s path, assault and displaying distressing images.

Continued: http://cherwell.org/2018/09/22/the-government-is-wrong-to-dismiss-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones/

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Anti-abortion demo held in Bern

Anti-abortion demo held in Bern

September 15, 2018

Around 1,500 anti-abortionists took part in a “March for Life” rally outside the Federal Palace in the Swiss capital on Saturday, amid a heavy police presence. A counter demonstration in the city attracted 800 people.

The “March for Life” demonstration, which aimed to raise public awareness about the consequences of abortion, was organised by conservative Christian groups, including the Swiss Evangelical Network and the Federal Democratic Union of Switzerland (EDU/UDF).

Continued: https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/march-for-life-rally_anti-abortion-demo-held-in-bern/44401944

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UK – Women tell us why abortion clinics need buffer zones

Women tell us why abortion clinics need buffer zones

Rebecca Reid
Friday 14 Sep 2018

The first time I went to an abortion clinic, I was in my teens accompanying a friend having a termination.

We talked a lot about what was going to happen. We questioned what you were supposed to wear to go and get abortion pills. We looked up the route from the tube station to the clinic on Google maps.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/14/women-tell-us-why-abortion-clinics-need-buffer-zones-7943627/

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UK – Calls for abortion clinic buffer zones rejected

Calls for abortion clinic buffer zones rejected

13 September 2018

Calls for buffer zones to be introduced outside abortion clinics to stop patients being harassed have been rejected by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

He said such protest-free areas around clinics in England and Wales "would not be a proportionate response".

A Home Office review found cases of harassment and damaging behaviour but they were "not the norm", he added.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-45509202

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Lawyers urge caution on Qld abortion laws

Lawyers urge caution on Qld abortion laws
1:47pm Sep 12, 2018

Legal experts have warned parts of proposed laws to decriminalise abortion in Queensland could be found unconstitutional.

A state parliamentary committee conducted a public hearing in Brisbane on Wednesday, with a variety of stakeholders giving their views on the proposed laws.

Continued: https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/09/12/05/09/committee-considers-qld-abortion-changes

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Inside Australia’s only clinic providing late surgical abortions

Inside Australia's only clinic providing late surgical abortions

By Hagar Cohen and David Lewis
Sep 7, 2018

The journey to the Marie Stopes clinic in Melbourne's east is a harrowing one for the 200 or so women who go there each year for a procedure denied to them elsewhere.

By the time they reach the building, sitting behind a car park on an unassuming suburban street, they have likely been turned away by multiple doctors and hospitals.

And until the Victorian state government banned the practice in 2015, there was a very real risk of encountering anti-abortion protesters at the entrance.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-08/abortion-clinic-providing-late-surgical-abortions/10210656

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