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

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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Australia – Abortion clinic safe zones: human rights lawyer applies to give high court advice

Abortion clinic safe zones: human rights lawyer applies to give high court advice
Victoria’s laws strike the right balance, says Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer

Melissa Davey
Fri 25 May 2018

The Human Rights Law Centre has applied to provide expert advice to the high court while it considers a challenge to Victoria’s safe access zones around abortion clinics.

Laws took effect in Victoria in 2015 that made it illegal for anti-abortionists to protest within 150 metres of health and fertility clinics. The “safe access zone” laws were intended to protect health workers and their patients from being confronted and intimidated by protesters while seeking medical advice or getting medical treatment, including abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/26/abortion-clinic-safe-zones-human-rights-lawyer-applies-to-give-high-court-advice

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USA: Be Careful What You Sue For

Be Careful What You Sue For
If the Supreme Court strikes down California’s “crisis pregnancy center” disclosure act, dozens of anti-abortion laws could fall with it.

Nov 13, 2017
By Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on NIFLA v. Becerra, yet another religion-fueled fight over free speech. NIFLA involves a long-simmering dispute surrounding a 2015 California law requiring the state’s more than 200 “crisis pregnancy centers” to notify patients whether they actually have a medical license, and to disclose that California subsidizes birth control and abortion services. Faith-based anti-abortion groups argue that the law violates the CPCs’ freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether the California law is constitutionally permissible. If the justices vote to strike down the statute, abortion foes will celebrate the decision as a resounding victory for their cause. An eventual ruling against California, though, could also lead to the invalidation of anti-abortion counseling laws across the country on similar First Amendment grounds.

Continued at source: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/11/abortion_foes_latest_supreme_court_challenge_could_turn_out_badly_for_them.html

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