New Zealand – Voting mix-up sees abortion safe-zones axed and MPs ‘gutted’

Voting mix-up sees abortion safe-zones axed and MPs 'gutted'

11 Mar, 2020
By: Amelia Wade, Reporter, NZ Herald

Justice Minister Andrew Little is disappointed that proposed "safe zones" around abortion clinics got axed late last night in a voting mix-up.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who supported the proposal to establish 150m protest-free areas around clinics, has brushed off the error as "the outcome of democracy".

Continued: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12315875


New Zealand – MPs vote to remove abortion clinic safe zones from Bill

MPs vote to remove abortion clinic safe zones from Bill
In a confused vote in Parliament, MPs have done away with all sections of the Abortion Legislation Bill that would have made legally protected 'safe areas' possible outside clinics.

Mar 10, 2020

The Bill had its second reading in Parliament last night, in which possible changes were debated and voted on ahead of the third and final reading.

Up for debate were 150 metre safe zones that could be established around abortion clinics on a case-by-case basis, to prohibit intimidating or interfering behaviour.

Continued: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/411409/mps-vote-to-remove-abortion-clinic-safe-zones-from-bill


Canada – MLAs share emotional stories as Nova Scotia considers abortion bubble zones

MLAs share emotional stories as Nova Scotia considers abortion bubble zones
MLAs from all parties voiced their support for a bill that would restrict anti-abortion protests

Taryn Grant · CBC News
Posted: Mar 05, 2020

A bill aimed at restricting anti-abortion protests in Nova Scotia received wide support in the legislature Wednesday, with many members sharing heartfelt speeches in favour of a woman's right to access reproductive health care, free from harassment or intimidation.

"In my own life, this is a really resonant issue," said NDP MLA Claudia Chender, who tabled the bill Tuesday.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-bubble-zone-law-moves-forward-in-legislature-1.5486297


Netherlands – “Abortion buddies” to help pregnant women as protesters get more intimidating

“Abortion buddies” to help pregnant women as protesters get more intimidating

By Janene Pieters
on March 2, 2020

From Monday, women visiting abortion clinics in Rotterdam and The Hague can call on an "abortion buddy" to escort them into the clinic and past the anti-abortion protesters often hanging around the clinics. The around 20 volunteers' task is to accompany women as they enter the clinic and be a screen for these already vulnerable women against the protesters, at the initiative of feminism platform De Bovengrondse and the Humanistisch Verbond.

Last year, a majority in the lower house of Dutch parliament supported letting municipalities set up "buffer zones" around abortion clinics in the Netherlands. No anti-abortion protesters should be allowed in these buffer zones, to allow women to enter abortion clinics un-harassed. But a year later, the protests are continuing unabated, and even increasing at some clinics, according to a survey by De Bovengrondse and the Humanistisch Verbond among 11 of the 14 abortion clinics in the Netherlands.

Continued: https://nltimes.nl/2020/03/02/abortion-buddies-help-pregnant-women-protesters-get-intimidating


Belgium could criminalise abortion protest

Belgium could criminalise abortion protest

by Michael Cook
23 Feb 2020

Once again, the Belgian parliament is debating abortion – not whether to decriminalise it, for that happened in 1990, but whether to criminalise protests against it.

A new bill would relax existing restrictions by allowing abortions up to 18 weeks (from 12 weeks), removing all penalties for women who do not comply with the law, and shortening a mandatory cooling-off period from six to two days.

Continued: https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/belgium-could-criminalise-abortion-protest/13337


Calls for exclusion zones outside UK abortion clinics amid protests

Calls for exclusion zones outside UK abortion clinics amid protests
Group of 45 people stopped women as they left centre in Finsbury Park on Saturday

Aamna Mohdin
Sat 8 Feb 2020

A leading provider of abortion care has criticised the Home Office for refusing to introduce exclusion zones after a group of anti-abortion activists protested outside a north London clinic on Saturday morning.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said its clinic in Finsbury Park had never had any problem with demonstrations until Saturday, when staff and clients were met with a group of 45 people protesting outside the centre.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/08/calls-for-exclusion-zones-outside-uk-abortion-clinics-amid-protests


Ireland – Anti-abortion protest sparks renewed calls for exclusion zones

Anti-abortion protest sparks renewed calls for exclusion zones
Simon Harris ‘appalled’ by protest by 100 people outside National Maternity Hospital

Wed, Jan 1, 2020
Paul Cullen

There have been renewed calls for the imposition of exclusion zones outside maternity units after anti-abortion activists protested outside the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin on New Year’s Day.

About 100 people, some carrying small crosses and banners, demonstrated outside the hospital on Holles Street for several hours on Wednesday.

Continued: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/anti-abortion-protest-sparks-renewed-calls-for-exclusion-zones-1.4128381


Ireland still does not have the women-centred abortion service people voted for

Ireland still does not have the women-centred abortion service people voted for

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019
National Women’s Council of Ireland

As the first year of legal abortion provision for women in Ireland comes to a close, the Abortion Working Group, chaired by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) and made up of 23 groups working together to ensure safe access to abortion, today raised urgent concerns about the current state of local services, and a lack of leadership.

Orla O’Connor, Chair of the Abortion Working Group and Director of NWCI said,

Continued: https://www.nwci.ie/learn/article/ireland_still_does_not_have_the_women_centred_abortion_service_people_voted


UK – Harassment, Tears & Distress: Inside The Battle For Bournemouth’s Abortion Clinic

Harassment, Tears & Distress: Inside The Battle For Bournemouth’s Abortion Clinic

Vicky Spratt, Poppy Thorpe
Last Updated 27 October 2019
Photographed by Poppy Thorpe.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) abortion clinic in Bournemouth is discreet. Set back on a quiet, leafy residential street sandwiched between a busy main road and a primary school, it’s flanked by two up, two down houses. Unless you had a reason to visit you wouldn’t necessarily know it was here.

But as I approach something immediately seems off. There are three women huddled together under a footbridge, sheltering from the rain and staring at the clinic’s front door. On a dull, grey October day, their presence is eerie. As I near them, I realise that they are each holding rosaries and praying, the beads moving steadily through their fingers.

continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/10/8619550/buffer-zones-abortion-clinics-bournemouth


UK – How Our Government Has Betrayed Women Seeking Abortions

How Our Government Has Betrayed Women Seeking Abortions

Vicky Spratt
8 October 2019

All over England and Wales, abortion clinics are being targeted by anti-choice, anti-abortion and, ultimately, anti-women protestors. It often goes unreported and the scenes witnessed by clinic staff, pro-choice activists and service users alike are fraught.

In 2018, Ealing council became the first to implement a no-protest 'buffer zone' around the Marie Stopes West London clinic. That buffer zone prevents anti-abortion protestors from coming within 100 metres of the clinic. The move was hailed as a huge and hopeful step forward for the protection of women seeking abortion services against a backdrop of abuse.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/2019/10/8540490/abortion-buffer-zones-uk-review