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Safe access zones around abortion clinics in place in SA

Safe access zones will be established around South Australian premises that provide abortion services after new laws were passed in parliament. Under the law, protesters will not be allowed within 150m of an abortion clinic and aims to protect patients and workers from harassment when seeking or providing abortion care.Up until now, SA was only…

Safe access zones will be established around South Australian premises that provide abortion services after new laws were passed in parliament.

Under the law, protesters will not be allowed within 150m of an abortion clinic and aims to protect patients and workers from harassment when seeking or providing abortion care.

Up until now, SA was only one of two Australian jurisdictions without safe access zones and Western Australia — being the other state — are currently debating their related laws.

The legislation — which was introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks in the Upper House — was passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday night.

“What a relief it is that patients and health workers will no longer be subjected to this behaviour, and will be protected by our laws.

“Abortion care is health care, and this legislation takes us one step towards finally treating it as such.”

The new laws come with tough penalties. Anyone found to be in breach of the protest laws faces a maximum penalty of $10,000 or 12 months jail.

For those in NSW, where the bill was passed in 2018, people who engage in prohibited conduct within the 150m zone can be fined up to $5000 and/or jailed for up to six months for a first offence.

Similarly, Victoria, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania also have a 150m zone while in the ACT, only 50m is allocated.

Tasmania was the first Australian jurisdiction to establish laws surrounding safe access zones in 2014.

Other jurisdictions followed with the ACT in 2015, Victoria the following year, the Northern Territory the year after and Queensland in 2018.

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