December 17th, 2019

Chender: Bubble zones needed to protect individuals accessing abortions

Halifax -- The NDP Caucus will table legislation to establish “bubble zones” to prevent harassment of people seeking abortion services.

Community members are concerned about the safety of patients at the Women’s Choice Clinic at the Victoria General Hospital, where an anti-choice group has recently staged demonstrations.

“Being forced to interact with protesters is harmful to the health of those using the clinic,” said Emma Duke, Director of Communications for Abortion Support Services Atlantic. “It’s time to update our laws to put distance between anti-choice protestors and patients.”

Bubble zones exist in other jurisdictions including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. The NDP’s legislation would prohibit protests or other interference with service access, whether at a pharmacy, a clinic, a doctor’s office, a hospital, or a physician’s home.

“Reproductive health care is a right, full stop,” said NDP Status of Women spokesperson Claudia Chender. “No one should have to face harassment or intimidation to access the health care services they need. Establishing bubble zones would help protect the safety and wellbeing of patients.”

The NDP will table the bill as soon as possible in the new year.