Safe Access Zones Crucial for Protecting Women’s Reproductive Rights

Senator Annie Hoey image
27 February 2024

Labour’s Senator Annie Hoey welcomes the Health (Termination of Pregnancy Services)(Safe Access Zones) Bill 2023 going before the Seanad today.

Senator Hoey said

“The introduction of Safe Access Zones is a crucial step towards safeguarding the dignity and safety of women seeking reproductive healthcare services. No one should have to endure intimidation or harassment when accessing medical care. The urgency of this bill cannot be overstated, as it addresses a critical need for the protection of women’s reproductive healthcare rights across Ireland.

“Women attending abortion services are at risk of abuse outside GP surgeries, clinics, and hospitals. This behaviour is unacceptable and must be swiftly addressed through the establishment of Safe Access Zones.

“Exclusion zones restricting gatherings designed to intimidate pregnant people and obstruct access to abortion services are already in effect in other countries, including parts of Canada, Australia, and the US.

“Safe Access Zones are not only about protecting patients but also the healthcare workers who provide these essential services. Everyone deserves to carry out their duties without fear or intimidation.

“Repealing the Eighth Amendment was a pivotal moment, but it was just the beginning. We need to strive for truly free, safe and legal access to reproductive health care.

“I urge my colleagues in the Seanad to support the passage of the Bill 2023 to provide effective protection for all.”

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