According to a newly passed, it’s now illegal to protest outside abortion clinics in Ontario.
Under the bill, Ontario will have zones around eight clinics with a 50- and 150-meter province, within which, it’s illegal to conduct anti-abortion protests, intimidating or interfering a woman’s access to abortion services or advising women not to get an abortion. Those guilty of doing so will be punishable by the law.
Similar 150-meter zones will automatically apply to the houses of the doctors or abortion staff that provides the abortion services.
Attorney General Yasir Naqvi appreciated how all three parties jointly passed the legislation within a short period of time: “We worked on this bill on a very short time frame to ensure that we protect women”.
“We as legislators have passed a very important piece of legislation ensuring that women have safe access to health-care services like reproductive health and abortion services,” said Naqvi.
However, it’s the bill’s timing that has led to a lot of conflicts and even when it feels like that the bill was passed smoothly; the real story looks different. The Tories gave a green signal right without conducting any committee hearings or debate. The Liberals right away declined while the opposition Progressive Conservatives unanimously voted for the bill’s passage.
Progressive Conservative’s leader Patrick Brown stated that there were no divisions within the caucus even though several members of the caucus weren’t there to vote. According to Brown, two were away due to health reasons.
But it’s not just the Progressive Conservatives who were absent; some of the Liberals were also away, including three who have been praised by the anti-abortion group, Campaign Light Coalition (CLC).
The only politician who voted against the bill was Jack MacLaren, a former Progressive Conservative; now an independent for the Trillium Party.
Campaign Light Coalition (CLC) has threatened to challenge the bill, saying that it’s strictly against the freedom of speech. According to Naqvi, passing the bill through a proper legislative process and this will help it withstand a constitutional change.
The bill was passed without any changes during the passage.
According to Naqvi, the law will still take time to come into force because the zones need to be set first.
There will be an application process that will allow pharmacists or healthcare providers to request a zone as some Ontario pharmacies have started offering abortion pills.
About the violation of the safe zones, there’s a $5000 fine and six months in jail. For the repeated felony, the fine could go up to $10,000 with a year in jail.
Note: All content is Original & written by NewsCrux Team.