Victorian Parliament passes legislation that bans peaceful pro-life advocates within 150m of abortion clinics

In the very early hours of Friday morning 27th November, the Victorian parliament passed a law that essentially criminalises all forms of pro-life activity within 150 metres of any premises at which abortions take place, including GP clinics that dispense RU486.

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Bill 2015, any activity which causes intimidation or distress to a person in the zone can be reported to the police, and the offenders can be charged as much as 120 penalty units (over $18,000) or up to 12 months imprisonment.

Despite many important questions remaining unanswered, including a lack of clarity over whether or not the act of praying in the zone could consitute an offence, the bill was supported by a vast majority of upper house MPs (30). There is no doubt that this is a blatant attack on fundamental liberties; there is no balance struck between competing rights what-so-ever.

Apart from our very own Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins, only 7 other MPs voted against the bill: four Liberals and three crossbenchers.

DLP Federal Secretary Mr Stephen Campbell has denounced the legislation as “one more step along the road of the abolition of democratic rights”.

“While we would expect this from a socially destructive group like the Greens, I would have hoped that in the last 60 years the ALP would have learned something about the dangers of aligning themselves with extreme left-wing ideologies – obviously, that was a forlorn hope. The DLP will never accept this unjust legislation and will work to overturn it at every opportunity,” Mr Campbell said.

Click here to read the Rachel Carling-Jenkins’ contribution to the debate

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