Inside the zone it will be illegal to obstruct or interfere with a person accessing or leaving a clinic; to communicate “in relation to abortions” in a manner that could cause “distress or anxiety” to a person accessing or leaving a clinic, and to record and distribute visual data of a person without their consent. Penalties include a fine of $5,500 or 6 months in prison. A second offence will incur a fine of $11,000 or 12 months prison.
Victoria, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT have all passed legislation implementing safe access zones.
Those opposing the bill have argued that the amendments take away the right to free speech.
This bill will now be debated in the Lower house in the coming weeks.