SAFE access zones around reproductive and fertility health clinics have officially been added to the WA Labor platform.
The issue of boundaries around abortion clinics to prevent protesters harassing or obstructing women seeking health services was raised at the WA Labor State Conference last weekend, and a resolution regarding the zones has now been adopted.
Panellist from the Not Easy, Not Cheap abortion discussion at the conference and Labor for Choice representative Gemma Black said everyone should be able to access lawful medical services free from fear, intimidation, harassment or obstruction.
“The implementation of these zones does not limit debate on the issue of abortion, it just changes the venue,” Ms Black said. “Protesters remain free to express anti-abortion sentiments. They can take their pickets over to parliament where the decisions are made about the laws that govern health services like abortion.”
Safe access zones are in place in Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Roger Cook said the minister was seeking further advice from the Department of Health on how to implement safe access zones in WA.
“There is no timeframe associated with the potential implementation,” she said.
“Proper planning will be conducted to ensure we get any change right.”
When asked if the Opposition had considered safe access zones or why they should or shouldn’t be implemented, Shadow Health Minister Bill Marmion said any proposal was a long way from being presented to Government.
“Until the proposal has been through the prism of the many factional and union interests of the Labor Party it is impossible to know what the final policy will look like,” he said.