Providing information that has led to the saving of hundreds of babies’ lives and helping mothers in need is illegal following a Melbourne Magistrate’s decision to uphold draconian Andrews Government anti-free speech laws.

The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed disappointment that mother of 13, Kathy Clubb, has been fined $5,000 for handing out leaflets to expectant mothers outside an abortion clinic.

“This case shows just how draconian the so-called Safe Access Zone laws are by prohibiting people from reaching out to women who are contemplating ending the life of their unborn babies and may be in need,” ACL Victorian director Dan Flynn said.

Mrs Clubb was arrested in August 2016 for breaching the 150 metre exclusion zone outside the East Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic where she has quietly and respectfully reached out to mothers for years, resulting in the saving of hundreds of babies lives and the provision of support to hundreds of women.

“Not only has Mrs Clubb been ill-served by these laws but so are the many vulnerable expectant mothers who are now denied access to information about the various options that are available to them including how they can keep their baby,” Mr Flynn said.

“Today’s ruling will only strengthen the hand of the abortion industry.

“In light of the growing community awareness of the way women often are coerced into having an abortion, the Victorian Government should be focusing its attention on stopping this practice, ensuring they are fully informed of their options, including how they can be supported to keep their unborn baby.

“The ACL calls on the Victorian Government to overturn the Safe Access Zone laws as a way of demonstrating its commitment to women who feel pressured to abort their unborn baby.”

Human Rights Law Alliance managing director Martyn Iles said that free speech was at the heart of the case.

“The case has brought to light real concerns about how far the government should go in censoring speech it doesn’t approve of. In this case, communication which has a very low possibility of causing actual harm, but has a proven track record of doing good has been criminalised because the government is blinded by ideological opposition to anything remotely pro-life.

“Those on the pro-life side of the debate are being totally marginalised by the government for their political opinion, even at the expense of women and children,” Mr Iles said.

Mr Iles said Mrs Clubb’s lawyers will consider appealing the decision.