On August 12 WA became the last state to legislate safe access zones when the Public Health Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Bill 2021 passed in Parliament. The legislation prevents picketing within 150m of abortion clinics and will apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Prohibited behaviours within the safe access zones include:
The new law will also prohibit a person from publishing and distributing recordings of another person accessing abortion clinics, if the recording could identify that person, without their consent or reasonable excuse.
The legislation is a long overdue step to ensure all people accessing abortion services in WA are free from intimidation, harassment and obstruction, however there is more work needed to reduce the stigma around abortion access and increase equitable access to abortion care throughout the state.
The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing is committed to defending and advocating for reproductive rights and working collaboratively to advance women’s sexual and reproductive health.