Safe zones for abor­tion clin­ics

Kalamunda Reporter - - News -

SAFE ac­cess zones around re­pro­duc­tive and fer­til­ity health clin­ics in Mid­land and the rest of Perth have of­fi­cially been added to the WA La­bor plat­form.

The is­sue of bound­aries around abor­tion clin­ics to pre­vent pro­test­ers ha­rass­ing or ob­struct­ing women seek­ing health ser­vices was raised at the WA La­bor State Con­fer­ence last week­end, and a res­o­lu­tion re­gard­ing the zones has now been adopted.

Panel­list from the Not Easy, Not Cheap abor­tion dis­cus­sion at the con­fer­ence and La­bor for Choice rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gemma Black said every­one should be able to ac­cess law­ful med­i­cal ser­vices free from fear, in­tim­i­da­tion, ha­rass­ment or ob­struc­tion.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of these zones does not limit de­bate on the is­sue of abor­tion, it just changes the venue,” Ms Black said. “Pro­test­ers re­main free to ex­press anti-abor­tion sen­ti­ments. They can take their pick­ets over to Par­lia­ment where the de­ci­sions are made about the laws that gov­ern health ser­vices like abor­tion.”

Safe ac­cess zones are in place in Vic­to­ria, the ACT and Tas­ma­nia.

A spokes­woman for Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook said the min­is­ter was seek­ing fur­ther ad­vice from the De­part­ment of Health on how to im­ple­ment safe ac­cess zones in WA.

“There is no time frame as­so­ci­ated with the po­ten­tial im­ple­men­ta­tion,” she said.

“Proper plan­ning will be con­ducted to en­sure we get any change right.”

When asked if the Op­po­si­tion had con­sid­ered safe ac­cess zones or why they should or shouldn’t be im­ple­mented, Shadow Health Min­is­ter Bill Marmion said any pro­posal was a long way from be­ing pre­sented to Gov­ern­ment.

“Un­til the pro­posal has been through the prism of the many fac­tional and union in­ter­ests of the La­bor Party it is im­pos­si­ble to know what the fi­nal pol­icy will look like,” he said.

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