Victorian abortion clinics ask for exclusion zones

There is a proposal for exclusion zones around Victorian abortion clinics to stop protesters harassing patients and staff.

According to Dr. Susie Allanson, a psychologist from the East Melbourne Fertility Control Clinic, in more instances the authorities are being called to control protesters and this is in reality a waste of resources. “We're talking about the sort of situation where, even if there are a handful of picketers, their behavior is so disrespectful and just contrary to usual norms of behavior… Women come in very distressed.”

According to a spokesman for the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, Ben O'Brien, they have not harassed anyone and that many women had benefited from the group's presence outside the clinic for many years.

The call follows a recommendation from the Victorian Law Reform Commission in 2008 for the state government to consider a legislative response to the issue. The State Government is yet to respond.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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  1. East Melbourne resident East Melbourne resident Australia says:

    I fully support anyone's right to protest but I think the exclusion zone is an excellent idea.

    As a local resident of East Melbourne, I have - on numerous occasions - been subject to harassment, and all I am doing is walking to my local fruiterer, cafe or post office. One one occasion, my partner parked on the street to go into the neighbouring post office. As I hopped out of the car, I had literature thrust into my face and was pleaded to 'save my baby'. I found it appalling that I should be judged in this manner. I called my local council to report the incident but was advised little could be done.

    This incident is not to mention the numerous times when protesters insist I look at their their plastic foetuses.

    I don't mind if they protest but any claim that they do not harass people is simply untrue. This doesn't happen all the time I walk pass them but then again - I am only a resident walking by.

  2. Rita Joseph Rita Joseph Australia says:

    I would suggest to Dr Susie Allanson that she is being less than honest when she claims that women come into her abortion clinic very distressed solely because of "a handful of picketers".

    Women comimg in to have their babies aborted are far more likely to be experiencing deep distress because of the lethal treatment your clinic is about to inflict on the tiny new human life being protected and nurtured in her womb.    

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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