Greens say banning abortion protests worth thinking about

Green MP Jan Logie says it is worth debating whether New Zealand should ban protests around abortion clinics, similar to those enforced in some Australian states.

In the Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria, filming, intimidation and protests are banned within 150m of abortion centres.

In New South Wales, a bill to provide a 150m “safe access zone” has just been introduced by a Green MP on the grounds of ensuring the right to medical privacy.

Logie and Catherine Delahunty recently attended a meeting in Thames organised by people concerned about pro-life protesters who protest outside the Thames Hospital abortion clinic on Fridays.

Logie said the Green Party had no plans for a member’s bill on the issue but another speaker had raised the Australian example.

There were different views expressed on it and she believed a broader discussion was needed.

“I do think there’s is a genuine issue around the impact of those protests directly targeting women and making their lives worse.”

Secretary of the Hauraki branch of Voice for Life Lynn Hopkins said they started the protests outside Thames Hospital about five years ago to try to end abortion. She would not support legislation that bans their protests.

“I would think it was rather unfair against the idea of free speech.”

Hopkins protests with a placard that reads “women deserve better”.

“They deserve better care than being pushed towards having an abortion.”


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