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Letter to the editor: There was never a need for so called "Safe Areas"


New Zealand Herald.

Dear Sir,

The government has announced the designation of safe zones of 150 metres around the facilities of six abortion providers in New Zealand, including the Epsom Day clinic and AMAC. The government is addressing a problem that does not exist. These “Safe Areas’ will come into force from 25th August 2023 and will criminalise any person who exercises their rights of free speech and assembly within the “safe area”. The government’s intention is to prevent harassment and intimidation of women seeking an abortion and of abortion staff. This would include family of the girl or woman or anyone else who wants to offer love and support to choose life for the unborn child. ”The government ignored the advice of the Law Commission, which advised the Minister of Justice, Hon Andrew Little, that safe area legislation was not necessary as the Summary Offences Act addressed any potential intimidation and harassment of women and abortion staff. There was also no support for this legislation from abortion providers or staff. There is no evidence of harassment or intimidation of women seeking an abortion or of abortion staff, why then is the government trying to solve a problem that does not exist ? The government is seeking to control what we think, what we say and where may go.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Orr.