28 October 2015

Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury’s Bill to ban peaceful protesters and councillors from the vicinity of abortion clinics will do nothing to help women, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.

The legislation is due to be voted on by the Legislative Assembly as soon as tomorrow.

“Mr Rattenbury says that the Bill prevents ‘unfair harrassment’ of women, but police powers already enable them to deal with protesters who are a public nuisance” said ACL Spokesperson for Women, Wendy Francis.

“This is a direct attack on freedom of speech and political communication on the contested issue of abortion.

“It will ban peaceful protests, prayer, supports workers and councillors who can provide women with alternatives in a way that is not harassing or intimidating.”

Mrs Francis said that support organisations that do work outside abortion clinics have been responsible for preserving the lives of thousands of infants around the country through offering alternatives and real support for vulnerable women.

“This bill is aggressive and ideologically driven. It goes too far, ensuring that this kind of good can never happen in the ACT.”