The Status of Women Councils of Newfoundland and Labrador (SWCNL) are pro-choice, feminist organizations that lobby and advocate for equality rights. The SWCNL fully support a legislated buffer zone to create a safe space around the Athena Clinic in St. John’s.
Abortion is a legal healthcare service in Canada and has been since 1988.
Buffer zones allow women to access clinics and hospitals safely, without harassment and intimidation, and with the fundamental privacy and confidentiality that we all deserve. We cannot forget the long and often violent history that has been a real and direct threat to women and healthcare professionals across Canada which continues to make buffer zones necessary.
Important to note:
– Injunctions and bubble zone laws have significantly reduced protest activity at every clinic that uses them, sometimes completely eliminates it.
– Although protest activity has been relatively low and sporadic at most clinics since the mid-1990, it is on the rise again with the anti-choice “40 Days for Life” campaign that stages ongoing demonstrations outside abortion clinics. http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/presentations/ARCC-survey-protest-activity.pdf
Buffer Zone legislation has proven to be vital in the balance to protect the right to assembly, and to protect the absolute right to access healthcare services safely. No person, politician or church has the right to block anyone’s access to essential healthcare services.