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Abortion protest ban would not be an attack on free speech

Article image for Abortion protest ban would not be an attack on free speech

A bill that would ban protesting outside abortion clinics would not be an attack on free speech.

Sex Party leader Fiona Patten, who introduced the bill, does not want to silence abortion critics.

‘It’s about finding the balance between rights to privacy and protest,’ Ms Patten told Nick McCallum on Wednesday.

Ms Patten said marching outside parliament is an ‘entirely appropriate’ place for pro-life protesters.

‘While I don’t support their message, I support their right to express it to me,’ Ms Patten said. 

‘But to harass young women making a very difficult decision, that’s not the right space for it.’

LISTEN: Fiona Patten speaks to Nick McCallum

But not everyone shares that view. 

Margaret Tighe of Right To Life Australia says the protesters do not misbehave.

‘They go there with the genuine intention of trying to save the lives of some of these poor children,’ Ms Tighe said.

‘I don’t believe that they do harass people at all.

‘It’s just another example of the determination of the Andrews Government to make sure that the killing of pre-born children in this State goes on unchecked.’ 

LISTEN: Margaret Tighe speaks to Nick McCallum