NOVA SCOTIA – MLAs from all parties voice their support for a bill to restrict anti-abortion protests
A bill aimed at restricting anti-abortion protests in NovaScotia received wide support in the legislature in the first days of March 2020,with many members sharing emotional and heartfelt speeches in favour of awoman’s right to access reproductive health care, free from harassment orintimidation. “In my own life, this is a really resonant issue,” saidNDP MLA Claudia Chender, who tabled the bill Tuesday.
The Nova Scotia NDP is calling on the government to pass a”bubble zone” law that would ban anti-abortion protests within a50-metre radius of healthcare centres, clinics and hospitals. It would alsoallow government to create protected zones around the homes and offices ofphysicians who perform abortions, and prevent anyone from trying to dissuadephysicians from providing abortions.
Kelly Regan, the Liberal Minister for the Status of Womensaid she suspected everyone in the House knew someone who had had an abortion.”So let me be clear,” Regan said. “No Nova Scotians undergoing aprocedure like this should have to deal with strangers commenting on theirhealth on the way into that operation. It’s a principle of this government thatwomen should have agency over their own bodies.”
Individuals who break theproposed bubble-zone law would be fined up to $10,000 or spend up to one yearin prison, and corporations that break the law would be fined up to $100,000.
Bubble zones, or safe-accesszones,are already legally protected in British Columbia, Alberta,Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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SOURCES: CBCNews, by Taryn Grant, 5 March 2020 ; CBCNews, by Taryn Grant, 3 March 2020 ; VISUALat petition by MeganBoudreau