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High court throws out case against Safe Access Zones

The High Court has thrown out the case against safe access zone laws in Victoria and Tasmania.  Safe access zones in Victoria and Tasmania create a 150-metre protection zone outside abortion clinics and prohibit certain behaviours.  

The High Court upholding these safe access zones as constitutional is good news for South Australia, where legislation introduced by Tammy Franks MLC seeks to establish such zones around health care providers that offer abortion services.

Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:

“Free speech is not a license to harm others without consequences. People should be able to seek and provide health care without being harassed, health care workers deserve to do their work in a safe environment so I’m glad that this basic principle has been upheld by the High Court today, we need these same protections in SA now."

“Anti-abortionists have an established track record of causing serious distress, fear, and anxiety both to women seeking an abortion but to health workers who work in clinics that provide abortion services. The behaviour creates an unsafe workplace for health care staff and causes some women to delay medical treatment, and even women seeking non-abortion treatments such as pap smears and check-ups have to face the protesters."

“SA and WA are the only states in the country that don’t yet have safe access zones in legislation; the Bill for abortion law reform I introduced late last year seeks to change that."

“Most importantly, as the High Court so rightly pointed out; a woman’s decision whether or not to abort her pregnancy is not a political decision.”

Ms Franks will be available for comment from 1:45pm on the Parliament House steps.

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