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Family Planning supports safe zone legislation

Friday, February 26, 2021

National News

There is no place for protests at a health service. Family Planning says people have the right to access health services, including abortion, without harassment, judgement or intimidation.

The organisation supports the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill, due to have its first reading. The legislation would prohibit protestors from interfering with, intimidating or obstructing a person accessing or providing abortion services.

“This is not about limiting free speech. People who are opposed to abortion are free to protest outside of Parliament or other suitable places, contact media and express their views to others,” Family Planning chief executive Jackie Edmond says.

“Protesting outside of a health service is something entirely different. There is no place for protests at a health service. It creates barriers, causes stress, breaches privacy and is intimidating to those seeking and providing health care services.”

We look forward to details of the Bill being considered by Select Committee. This consideration could also include whether safe zones should be established automatically rather than needing a Ministerial recommendation, which could prove burdensome for abortion providers.

Read more about the Bill on the Parliament website

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.