Tasmanian News

Win for the state's abortion protest laws

Abortion surgery

The High Court has upheld Tasmania's and Victoria's laws which prohibit anti-abortion protestors within 150 metres of a termination clinic.

The case involved Kathleen Clubb, who was convicted after trying to hand a pamphlet to a couple outside a Melbourne clinic in 2016 and Graham Preston, who faced three charges for his protests in Hobart in 2014 and 2015.

They argued the laws were unconstitutional because they violated their rights to freedom of political communication, while the Commonwealth disputed the protest messages were political in nature.

The High Court today rejected the appeal, ruling each state's laws are legitimate.

All states and the Northern Territory also intervened in the case, pointing out that even if freedom had been affected, it was overridden by the necessity to protect women wanting a termination.

On Twitter, Labor's Michelle O'Byrne called it a good day for women's safety.

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