The NDP Critic for Justice and the Status of Women says that while the province’s new abortion buffer zone legislation doesn’t go quite as far as she would have liked, she is delighted to see that government kept its promise and included protection for all employees of abortion clinics in the regulations.
When government introduced the bill this fall, St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers had proposed amendments to the Access to Abortion Act which would have included protection for clinic owners and employees as well as doctors. Government voted down that amendment, saying all workers would be protected in regulation.
“It’s been a long struggle to get the buffer zone legislation to protect workers and patients of the clinics,” Rogers said today, “and we are all grateful for the persistence and hard work of so many, particularly the Athena Clinic and its lawyer.” The NDP added buffer zone legislation to its party policy at its convention in June this year.
“The next step,” Rogers says, “is to find a way to address the inequity in service delivery.” The two sites that provide abortions are both in St. John’s, meaning women from across the province must often travel great distances at great expense to access the service.