Protecting a Woman’s Right to Choose

Ontario Introduces Bill 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. The bill would, if passed, protect the safety, security, health, and privacy of women and health care providers by allowing for safe access zones to be established around clinics and facilities that offer abortion services, the homes of clinic staff, and the homes and offices of other regulated health professionals who provide these services.

Safe access zones are spaces where activities such as advising a person to refrain from accessing abortion services, abortion-related protests and activities that intimidate or interfere with individuals accessing or providing abortion services would be prohibited. In safe access zones around homes, similar activities would be prohibited if they are directly targeted at, or are about the clinic staff member or health professional who lives in the home.

The legislation would also prohibit harassing conduct anywhere in Ontario, directed at clinic staff and regulated health professionals who provide abortion services.