Image: Tasmanian Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne. (This explains a lot)
In a draconian move by the Tasmanian government, protests cannot be held within a one hundred and fifty meter radius of an abortion clinic. At this stage there is no other legislation on the books banning any other protests in a similar manner against anything else.
This action is part of the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013, so it only applies to protests against abortionists. It also compels doctors who refuse to carry them out on conscience grounds to refer patents to others who will:
“The bill proposes a fine of $65,000 or a 12 month jail term for the newly created crime of protesting in an area within a radius of 150 metres from an abortion clinic. This is an inappropriate limitation on freedom of speech.
“General laws against intimidation already exist in the law and they are appropriate restraints on unacceptable behavior.
“Singling out particular premises for special treatment undermines equality before the law. This bill does not make it illegal to distribute material outside supermarkets or sports grounds, for instance. The Tasmanian government should not ban protests, whether they occur outside an abortion clinic or a timber mill.
“The bill also threatens freedom of conscience by forcing doctors who have a conscientious objection to abortion to refer patients to another doctor who does not have such objections. A fine of $32,500 applies to counsellors who refuse to contradict their beliefs. This is a clear and unacceptable infringement of freedom of conscience,” said Mr Breheny.
Tasmania is a state with great potential but cruelled by successive governments over the years. The current one is made up of far left Labor, in coalition with the Greens, who as close to Bolshies as you can get, this side of Stalin. It is something like Australia’s California.
As much as the idea of abortion is distasteful, legalizing it creates a safer environment for women who undergo the process. Its illegality has not prevented many from taking place, but has created a situation where women’s lives are at risk. It is controversial however, and it is reasonable to expect protests against it.
The left though, regard it as some sort of sacred cow that must not be questioned, let alone be objected to.