Health Zones Amendment Bill 2019
On Wednesday 27 November 2019 the Health Care (Health Access Zones) Amendment Bill was tabled in the Lower House in SA and debate adjourned to Wednesday 4 December 2019. The Bill will ban communications about abortion without permission in any public place within 150 metres of the Pregnancy Advisory Centre (PAC) at 21 Belmore Terrace Woodville or any other premises at which abortions are carried out, if the Minister so declares.
The Bill will ban communications about abortion without permission in any public place within 150 metres of the Pregnancy Advisory Centre (PAC) at 21 Belmore Terrace Woodville or any other premises at which abortions are carried out, if the Minister so declares.
If passed, this Bill will affect the church and the general public.
- If a church meets within a 'Health Access Zone', the preacher will probably have to obtain permission from all attendees before a message concerning abortion is preached.
- In what may be a first in SA, journalists reporting on abortion inside a 'Health Access Zone' will have to prove that such reporting is in the public interest. It is telling that the only journalist in the Upper House, the Hon Frank Pangallo, voted against the Bill.
'Health Access Zones' are not needed as there is no problem in South Australia.
The unchallenged evidence presented when the Bill was debated in the Upper House was that there have been no successful convictions for offensive behaviour or for breach of council by-laws or permit conditions. In fact there has only been one prosecution about 8 years ago, which was withdrawn.
This Bill has been introduced purely because of an extreme anti-life ideology.
Please write to the members of the Lower House and ask them to oppose this Bill. Some points you could make are:
- There is no history of any actual harassment or obstruction outside the PAC;
- The Bill will affect the conversation of people on private property where the public is allowed, including churches or cafes;
- The Bill will require journalists reporting in an access zone to prove their communication was in the public interest. The fact that they will have to prove 'public interest' could have a chilling effect on press freedom;
- The Bill should not proceed before the Attorney-General releases her response to the SALRI report.
- Do not address the email 'Dear MPs name' - this will be added automatically to your MP.
- Be concise and respectful.