Ontario to Create Safe Access to Abortion Services

Ontario is protecting a woman’s right to choose and access abortion services without fear of interference, intimidation or harassment.

Today, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi and Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister for the Status of Women, announced that the government will introduce the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, 2017. If passed,  the legislation would allow safe access zones to be established protecting  the security health, and privacy of women and health care providers around clinics and facilities that offer abortion services, the homes of clinic staff, and other regulated health professionals who provide these services.

Safe access zones are areas where all activities that would intimidate or interfere with people looking to access, or provide abortion services would be prohibited.  “Our government’s proposed safe access zones would protect a woman’s fundamental right to fair and equal access to safe abortion,” Minister of the Status of Women Indira Naidoo-Harris Legislation would also prohibit harassing conduct directed at clinic staff or regulated health professionals anywhere in Ontario that provides abortion services.

Update: Liberals Fail to Pass Safe Zones Legislation 

Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa McLeod put forward a motion to pass the legislation in one step.  It would have required the unanimous consent of both NDP, and Liberals.  The Liberals refused citing the need to consult women’s groups and healthcare professionals.

McLeod called it wedge politics according to the CBC.  “If they really wanted to put women’s safety first, then they would have either done this when the issue started arising over a year ago or they would have accepted my unanimous consent request and passed the motion today.”

The Liberals have repeatedly questioned PC Leader Patrick Brown over his stance on his abortion. “I am pro-choice,” he said in a statement posted to his Facebook post

Status of Women Minister Indira-Naidoo-Harris questioned the PC party’s intentions.  “You should be asking yourself, ‘Why is it that the opposition, the Conservatives want to push this through so quickly,” Naidoo-Harris said.