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The Abortion Clinic ‘Safe-Access Zones’ Bill Has Passed In NSW

Making it an offence to protest outside abortion clinics and harass women

After hours of debate, a bill which bans people protesting outside NSW abortion clinics or harassing staff and patients was passed by state parliament on Thursday night.

The new laws will enforce a 150-metre exclusion zone around abortion clinics across the state and make it an offence to interfere with a person outside a clinic in a way “likely to cause distress or anxiety”.

It would also make it an offence to film staff and patients without their consent, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The bill was passed in the Lower House at 1 votes to 18; its supporters included Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

Upper House Labor MP Penny Sharpe said the decision marked a “terrific day for women in New South Wales”.

As the ABC reports, The Minister for Women, Tanya Davies, and the former minister Pru Goward, both voted against the bill.

Offenders will face up to six months in jail for a first offence or 12 months in jail for any subsequent offences.

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