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J Law Med. 2004 May;11(4):510-5.

Abortion in Australia: access versus protest.

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Fertility Control Clinic, 118 Wellington Pde, East Melbourne, Vic 3002, Australia.


Currently in Australia anti-choice protesters' right to freedom of speech and freedom to protest is privileged over a woman's right to privacy and to access a health service safely, free from harassment, intimidation and obstruction. This article considers how this situation is played out daily at one Victorian abortion-providing clinic. The Fertility Control Clinic was thrown into the spotlight after the murder of its security guard by an anti-choice crusader in July 2001. Australian common law appears not to offer women protection from anti-choice protesters. By contrast, United States and Canadian "bubble" legislation sits comfortably with key constitutional rights. It would be a useful development if Australian governments passed legislation to ensure the rights, wellbeing and safety of Australian women accessing health services. Such legislation would be another step away from the misogynistic and androcentric values once central to our legislative framework.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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