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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Fact check: Will Queensland’s proposed abortion laws allow unrestricted access after 22 weeks?

Fact check: Will Queensland's proposed abortion laws allow unrestricted access after 22 weeks?
Oct 3, 2018

The claim

Protestors have marched through the streets of Brisbane voicing their opposition to proposed changes to abortion laws in Queensland. Among them was Nationals senator for Queensland Matt Canavan, a cabinet minister, who addressed the crowd and spoke to reporters at the march.

"[The proposed changes] would be some of the most radical and extreme legislation of abortions in the world, and it would allow, effectively … unrestricted abortions beyond 22 weeks," Senator Canavan said.

Will the new laws, if passed, allow unrestricted access to abortion after 22 weeks? RMIT ABC Fact Check takes a look.

Continued: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-04/fact-check-queensland-abortion-laws-unrestricted-access/10264402

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Australia – Abortion advocates urge NSW to ‘take next step’ after new safe access laws

Abortion advocates urge NSW to 'take next step' after new safe access laws
Reproductive rights activists have praised the passing of the new ‘safe access abortion zone’ laws in New South Wales, but say they would like to see abortion completely decriminalised.

June 8, 2018
By Evan Young

After a mammoth sitting which saw testimony from over 40 MPs, the New South Wales parliament passed the controversial amendment of the Public Health Act early Friday morning, 61 votes to 18.

The new law, supported by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, makes it illegal to communicate, film or intimidate a woman inside of a 150-metre radius of an abortion clinic.

Continued: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/abortion-advocates-urge-nsw-to-take-next-step-after-new-safe-access-laws

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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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Australia: Anti-Abortion Campaigners Are Calling Queenslanders To Say “Babies Will Die” If They Vote A Certain Way

Anti-Abortion Campaigners Are Calling Queenslanders To Say "Babies Will Die" If They Vote A Certain Way

"If Labor is re-elected more and more babies will never be born," the recorded calls claim.

Posted on November 18, 2017
Gina Rushton

Queenslander Chris Wright's landline is private but this week she answered the phone to a pre-recorded message.

The voice urged her to put the Labor government last at the state's upcoming election or else "more and more babies will never be born".

"It was just despicable and I'm so annoyed," the 57-year-old told BuzzFeed News.

Continued at source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ginarushton/anti-abortion-campaigners-are-calling-queenslanders-and?utm_term=.hpXqp0m4GB#.whoMbaYp3d

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New Zealand: This Is Why Abortion Is An Election Issue In Queensland

This Is Why Abortion Is An Election Issue In Queensland

One candidate believes abortion is "state-sanctioned coercion".
Posted on November 09, 2017, 21:23 GMT
Gina Rushton

Whether or not abortion remains a crime in Queensland will likely be decided by who is elected to government on November 25.

In February independent Cairns MP Rob Pyne withdrew bills to decriminalise abortion in Queensland a day before they were due to be debated in parliament, after Liberal National Party opposition leader Tim Nicholls vowed that “every single member” of his party would vote down the legislation.

The legislation would have failed, as Labor MPs had been given a conscience vote on the issue, and other independents had indicated their opposition to abortion.

Continued at source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/ginarushton/abortion-is-becoming-an-election-issue-in-queensland

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Australia: New NT abortion law an important step forward for women’s health but further reform needed

New NT abortion law an important step forward for women’s health but further reform needed
March 22, 2017

The Human Rights Law Centre welcomes the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill in the Northern Territory Parliament last night but has urged the Northern Territory Government to fully decriminalise abortion and respect women as competent decision makers.

The new law improves access to abortion, allows access to the “abortion pill” outside hospital settings and protects women against harassment and intimidation from anti-abortionists.

Adrianne Walters, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said, “We commend Attorney-General Natasha Fyles, for her leadership in pushing these vital reforms through the NT Parliament. However, the new law does not give women decision making power, even in the very early stages of pregnancy. It also fails to fully decriminalise abortion. The Attorney-General has committed to reviewing the laws in 12 to 24 months. These serious shortcomings should be addressed now.”

Continued at source: Human Rights Law Centre: https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2017/3/22/new-nt-abortion-law-an-important-step-forward-for-womens-health-but-further-reform-needed

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Australia: Queensland MPs must seize the moment on abortion

Queensland MPs must seize the moment on abortion
February 26 2017
by Emily Howie and Kate Marsh

Queensland MPs stand at a crossroads when it comes to the state's abortion laws, but one thing is abundantly clear: the status quo is unacceptable. New polling released this week shows overwhelming public support for women's right to choose abortion in Queensland and that voters are turned off by MPs who support criminalising abortion.

Queensland's MPs currently have a unique opportunity to modernise the state's abortion laws. This law reform is vital because the crime of abortion remains in Queensland's Criminal Code, right in between "incest" and "indecent acts". Under the Code, women and doctors risk 7 to 14 years imprisonment for procuring an abortion.

Continued at source: Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/queensland-mps-must-seize-the-moment-on-abortion-20170226-guls2w.html

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Australia: Northern Territory must respect women’s judgment on abortion, advocates say

Northern Territory must respect women's judgment on abortion, advocates say

Human rights law centre says proposed changes to abortion law still leave the decision in the hands of a doctor

Helen Davidson in Darwin
Wednesday 18 January 2017, The Guardian

The Northern Territory must give more respect to women as competent decision-makers and stop using criminal law to restrict access to abortion, the Human Rights Law Centre has urged.

Outside of limited allowable circumstances, abortion is a criminal offence under the NT criminal code, and the territory is currently the only Australian jurisdiction where women must be in a hospital for any abortion.

[continued at link]
Source, The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/19/northern-territory-must-respect-womens-judgment-on-abortion-advocates-say

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