Safe Access Zones around healthcare services providing termination of pregnancy services

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Stephen Donnelly
Stephen Donnelly

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly has received Government approval to introduce Safe Access Zones around healthcare services providing termination of pregnancy services.

This legislation will deliver on a longstanding government commitment to ensure that anyone needing a termination of pregnancy can access services in safety, with dignity and privacy.

The legislation will create Safe Access Zones of 100 metres from an entrance or exit to a premises where obstetricians/gynaecologists and general practitioners provide services. This will include consulting rooms, family planning clinics and women’s health clinics. Safe Access Zones will also apply to hospitals that provide acute inpatient services within the meaning of Section 51 of the Health Act 1970.

Within those Safe Access Zones, attempting to impede access or influence decisions in relation to termination of pregnancy services will be prohibited.

The Minister said, “Nobody should be harassed, insulted or intimidated in any way, or have their decision to access lawfully available healthcare services subject to attempted unsolicited influence by strangers.”