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Australian High Court Rules Safe Access Zones For Abortion Clinics Are Constitutional

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Australian High Court Rules Safe Access Zones For Abortion Clinics Are Constitutional

Immediate space around abortion clinics in Tasmania and Victoria will remain protester free after two court appeals were knocked down at the High Court.

Anti-abortion campaigners Kathleen Clubb and Graham Preston brought the case to the courts, arguing they should be present at the clinics to ensure women know exactly what they're getting themselves into.

Clubb was the first person to break Victoria's law, which dictates you have to stay 150 metres away from a clinic. She was fined $5,000 but decided to challenge the law.

Anti-abortion activists in Washington. Credit: PA
Anti-abortion activists in Washington. Credit: PA
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Preston essentially did the same thing in Tassie and copped a $3,000 fine, however, she also wasn't having a bar of it and brought the case to the High Court.

Sadly for them though, the court didn't side with them.

The court stated: "Given that the proscription leaves protesters free to conduct protests in relation to terminations outside the access zone, and that there is no evidence or other reason to accept that political protest against terminations outside the access zone is any less effective as a tool of political persuasion than protest within."

The last abortion clinic in Tasmania closed down in January, meaning women in Tassie have to travel to Victoria to get the procedure done. While there might not be any clinics in Tasmania now, at least the law will protect women if one springs up.

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Anti-abortion protestors in Belfast. Credit: PA
Anti-abortion protestors in Belfast. Credit: PA

Campaigners have been quick to celebrate the decision, saying it will prevent unneeded stress and anxiety for the women undergoing the process.

Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic clinical psychologist Dr Susie Allanson told the Guardian: "Since the safe zones came into effect, women and staff are no longer a target when they walk up to the clinic, and women no longer carry the heavy burden of being publicly attacked for seeking medical care."

New South Wales, the ACT, the NT and Queensland also have safe access zones for abortion clinics.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia News, News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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