WEL advocates for the establishment of exclusion zones around health facilities that provide abortion, to ensure the safety of women seeking terminations and health and medical practitioners and staff. Exclusion zones protect people accessing and working in these clinics from harassment, abuse and invasions of privacy. It is the right of every woman to secure medical treatments safely and confidentially.
We urge Members of the Parliament of NSW to support the Summary Offences Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill when it comes before the NSW Parliament this year.
Please sign this petition from Penny Sharpe MLC to add your voice to the calls for safe access zones for women.
Open letter to NSW parliamentarians seeking their support to provide safe access zones around reproductive health clinics.
Dear Members of the Parliament of NSW,
Women across NSW are subject to harassment and intimidation by individuals and organised groups when attempting to access health clinics that provide abortion, reproductive health services, cancer screening and other contraceptive services.
Self-declared sidewalk counsellors wait outside these clinics and behave in a threatening and intimidating manner by:
- pushing brochures at those trying to enter the clinic with graphic, inaccurate and offensive images
- taking photos and video without permission
- physically blocking entry to clinics
- calling women "child murderers"
- threatening dire and ill-founded medical, spiritual and psychological consequences if women enter a clinic
- harassing staff at these clinics
At some clinics, threats and intimidation are a daily occurrence. All women deserve the right to enter all health facilities free from harassment and with their privacy protected. In NSW, women do not have this right.
Three Australian jurisdictions - Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT - have successfully introduced 150 metre safe access zones around reproductive health clinics.
We must do the same here in NSW.
I urge you to support the Summary Offences Amendment (Safe Access to Reproductive Health Clinics) Bill when it comes before the NSW Parliament this year.
Women in NSW deserve nothing less.