Ask your MLAs to oppose the NI censorship zone Bill
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Clare Bailey MLA has brought forward the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill to Stormont.
The Bill would allow the introduction of censorship zones outside abortion clinics and hospitals offering abortions across Northern Ireland. This would be entirely unnecessary and disproportionate.
The Bill would make it a criminal offence to “influenc[e]… a… person [seeking an abortion], whether directly or indirectly” within “safe access zones”. This would effectively criminalise offers of assistance, advice or even praying in these censorship zones.
At Committee Stage of the Bill, a public consultation was undertaken on the Bill and only 13 of the 6,412 submissions from members of the public supported the Bill. Despite this overwhelming opposition from among the general public, the Committee decided to progress the Bill onto the next stage.
It is expected that the Bill will reach Further Consideration Stage this Monday (14 March) where it will be voted on by MLAs. Speaker Alex Maskey has then pledged to give more time for private members’ bills so that Bills including this one will be able to have their final stage the week after (week beginning 21 March 2022).
This Bill will likely be given a chance to become law before the Assembly is dissolved for elections. This is not another Bill that will not be given time to pass; it is a real threat and it is vital that MLAs are encouraged to oppose it.
Please enter your postcode in the box above to send an email to your local MLAs asking them to oppose the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill.