Sunday, October 29, 2017
VICE News (October 26, 2017): Ontario makes it illegal to protest right outside of abortion clinics, by Tamara Khandaker:
A new billed passed by the Ontario legislature will soon make it illegal to protest outside of abortion clinics. The bill will create a "safe zone" around abortion clinics that will be 50-150 meters. Within the safe zone protesters will not be allowed to protest, hand out literature, advise against abortion, or "physically interfere with anyone trying to gain access to or provide an abortion".
The "safe zones" will very in size. Outside abortion providers it will be 150 meters. Outside other places which provided abortions including Planned Parenthood and hospitals, these places will have to apply to have their buffer zones up to 150 meters.
Punishment for violating the "safe zones" will include fines and possible jail time. Attorney General Yasir Naqvi in her statement announcing the new law said, "our government believes that every woman in Ontario has the right to make decisions about her own health care – and she deserves to do so freely, without fear...this legislation sends a clear message that we will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose.”
This bill comes after an increase in harassment outside of abortion clinics. One example of this harassment which led to the bill being passed was a woman being spat on while trying to enter the clinic by an anti-abortion protester.