Safe access zones around sexual health clinics in Western Australia move a step closer

The WA Government has released a discussion paper to introduce safe access zones around premises that provide abortion services in Western Australia.

The paper entitled ‘Safe access zones – Proposal for reform in Western Australia’ explores how an appropriate legislative framework might operate to ensure patients can access health services, including abortion clinics, without fear of intimidation or harassment.

Safe access zones are designed to address concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff that work at, or are seeking access to, legal health services including abortion services.

The public consultation is designed to seek feedback on how best to protect patients when accessing these services. It is not the purpose to review or debate the arguments for or against abortion in WA.

The start of the consultation period follows the High Court decision confirming the constitutional validity of legislation establishing safe access zones in Victoria and Tasmania.

Safe access zones already exist in most other Australian States.

Feedback can be submitted via written and online submissions or by completing an online survey.

The closing date for submissions is May 31, 2019.

Source: WA Government