Christians to challenge abortion protest ban

150m exclusion zone

Christian groups have said they will consider a legal challenge to a Tasmanian law passed yesterday that bans protests within 150 metres of abortion clinics, reports The Australian.

In addition, the Catholic Church attacked provisions compelling doctors to give patients information about abortions, claiming they violated the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

'This bill has decriminalised abortion, but criminalised opposition to abortion,; said the Archbishop of Hobart, Julian Porteous. 'It puts Catholic hospitals and all Catholic medical practitioners in an invidious position.

Constitutional law expert Michael Stokes believed the protest ban was an infringement of the Constitution's implied right to political communication.

The Labor MP who introduced the legislation, Michelle O'Byrne, believed the measures would survive a challenge and defended them as 'incredibly important' in allowing women to obtain abortions without 'intimidation.'

Under Ms O'Byrne's Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Act, passed by both houses, protests -- even silent vigils -- are banned within 150m of clinics, while doctors who refuse to facilitate an abortion must provide patients with material outlining where they can obtain information about terminations.

FULL STORY Abortion protest ban faces challenge

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