10 reasons to oppose Victoria's abortion clinic buffer zone

Here are 10 reasons to oppose the “Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Bill 2015”.

1. It is based on a heap of lies. The Fertility Control Clinic is upset at its loss of revenue. 20-30 women used to go in per day, now it is 5-10 women per day. At a cost of $1000 per abortion ($600 paid for by you the taxpayer) and over 300 babies saved from abortion, the Fertility Control Clinic has lost at least $300,000.

2. Outside the Fertility Control Clinic, the “Helpers of God’s Precious Children” offer help to the women. They offer them something better than what the abortion clinic offers them. Some ask, “Do you REALLY want to do this?” and some women say, “No. I am being pressured into it.”

3. Creation of exclusion zones is completely unnecessary. We already have laws against intimidation and harassment. The Fertility Control Clinic lost its Court case against Melbourne City Council complaining that the Council did not get rid of the “Helpers.” On complaints from the Fertility Control Clinic, the Council called Police who did not find any “intimidation” or “harassment.”

4. Introducing buffer zones undermines the entire philosophical point of an assembly. If you are opposed to animal cruelty, you try to persuade people to stop it where it is taking place. It would make no sense to ask the protestors to have their protest 50 km away. The protest should be allowed to occur where the people involved believe that the cruelty is taking place.

5. The idea that an attempt to engage women should be curtailed is incredibly flawed and very hard to enforce. Does it involve saying, “good morning” or handing them a leaflet? People are free to express themselves on public land and footpaths, as seen in the CBD any day. People are free to ignore them. In daily discourse we have engagement.

6. The law allows speaking to a person or offering them leaflets, and disallows blocking an entrance or besetting a person. [Animal Liberation (Vic) v Gasser, Vic Supreme Court (1991) 1VR 51] The “Helpers” do not block the entrance or beset people, they merely offer help and leaflets.

7. Women are not “harassed” or “intimidated.” A tiny self-serving poll has been presented by the Fertility Control Clinic alleging that some women feel anxious as they enter it, as anyone would when they go into an extermination chamber, but a larger peer-reviewed published article of almost 1000 women reveals no difference in feelings a week after their abortion. (Journal–Contraception 2013, Foster et al. “Effect of abortion protestors on women’s emotional response to abortion” concluded “exposure to abortion protestors does not seem to have an effect on women’s emotions about the abortion one week later.”)

8. This restriction of free speech goes too far. You actually make it unlawful to offer help. Free speech is guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Victoria’s own Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. The bill opposes the Australian Constitutional Rights of freedom of speech and assembly.

9. Why would the Government protect the Fertility Control Clinic at the expense of saving lives and helping women? No other business gets such special treatment by a Government. This business makes money out of killing preborn children.

10. What about the Rights of the Child? The International Convention on the Rights of the Child states, “The child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.” What is the government doing to protect the rights of the child before birth? Why is the Victorian government opposed to the Rights of the Child?

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