Anti-abortion activists lose bid to overturn clinic safe access zones in two states
High court throws out cases from anti-abortion campaigners in Victoria and Tasmania
Wed 10 Apr 2019
Safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania preventing anti-abortion protesters from harassing women seeking medical treatment will stay, following a judgment delivered by the high court on Wednesday.
The court threw out the cases brought by anti-abortion campaigners Kathleen Clubb and Graham Preston in a comprehensive, 200-page decision.
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
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.
Abortion clinic safe-access zones face challenge in Australia's high court
Campaigners challenging Victorian and Tasmanian laws argue they stifle free speech
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”.
Tough passage for abortion bill
October 8, 2018
Queensland Labor’s ambitious bid to decriminalise abortion and ban protesters targeting pregnant women outside clinics could be thwarted at a meeting of Liberal National MPs today.
Although the government commands 48 of parliament’s 93 seats, some Labor MPs are expected to abstain or vote against the bill, which would allow terminations on request up to 22 weeks’ gestation.
Explainer: what are abortion clinic safe-access zones and where do they exist in Australia?
June 14, 2018
New South Wales recently became the fifth Australian jurisdiction to enact legislation that establishes safe-access zones around abortion clinics.
The legislation is a response to picketing of clinics by anti-abortion protesters for more than two decades. These protesters characterise themselves as “sidewalk counsellors” but their conduct has included verbal abuse, threats, impeding entry to clinics, displaying violent imagery and acts of “disturbing theatre” such as pushing a blood-splattered doll in a pram.
Safe-access zones are sometimes called bubble zones because they create a bubble around an abortion clinic in which certain conduct is prohibited. NSW will now impose safe-access zones of 150 metres around clinics that provide abortions.
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
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.