NSW Passes Laws On Abortion Clinic Access

Exclusion zones to be established

NSW Passes Laws On Abortion Clinic Access AAP

Women will now be able to access abortion clinics in NSW without fear of being harassed. 

New laws making it illegal to communicate, film or intimidate a woman near a NSW abortion clinic have been passed by the state's parliament.

The legislation, which was supported by premier Gladys Berejiklian, passed the parliament's lower house late on Thursday night after a marathon debate.

The laws, which passed the state's upper house in May, will provide a 150-metre exclusion zone around clinics and make it an offence to film staff and patients without their consent.

Ms Berejiklian was supported by Deputy Premier and Nationals leader John Barilaro and a host of other government MPs in a debate that transcended partisan politics.

Mr Barilaro told parliament he had visited an abortion clinic with a young woman 27 years ago, and spoke of the fear and anxiety the experience provoked.

"When you actually attend you're scared, the fear is already inside you," Mr Barilaro said.

"By the time we arrived at the clinic, it was too late to change our mind."

He said he did not want his daughters to ever have to be accosted by protesters if they needed to go through the same experience.

A notable opponent of the bill was Minister for Women Tanya Davies, who said the laws didn't distinguish between sharing information and harassment.

"I believe that the bill will be counterproductive to the object of women having choice by denying support and informed choice to vulnerable women when they need it the most," Ms Davies said

 

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