Safe access zones needed for women accessing abortion services

May 30, 2018

The Social Democrats have called for safe access zones to be considered to protect women accessing abortion services in GP clinics and hospitals from intimidation by anti-abortion protestors.

The party’s political director, Anne Marie McNally, said:

“We need to start thinking about women’s safety and security once our abortion services are up and running. During the referendum campaign, staff and patients at maternity hospitals were deliberately exposed to graphic and distasteful posters by anti-abortion activists.

“These protestors stuck to their repellent tactics even after hospital managers asked them to remove their imagery on the grounds that it was causing upset and distress. Despite the fact that their actions were denounced by campaign groups for the No side, the same protestors turned up again outside Leinster House this week.

“We can’t let this sort of activity go unchecked once abortion is available in GPs’ practices and hospitals. One way to protect women from being hassled would be to create safe access zones around premises where legal terminations are being carried out. Several states in Australia have set up to 150 metre exclusion zones around reproductive health clinics to stop patients being harassed or intimidated. We need to consider these kinds of measures here also.”

ENDS

30th May 2018