Harris Floats Plan To Block Anti-Abortion Imagery Outside Hospitals
The Health Minister says we have to look to other countries for advice about exclusion zones around hospitals providing abortions.
Legislation to introduce such zones is currently being considered, with officials looking at whether it will come under the remit of health or local authorities.
It comes following concerns about anti-abortion campaigners displaying graphic images outside hospitals in recent weeks - both during and after the referendum campaign.
To anyone entering or leaving the Hospital, a warning that there is an anti-abortion group adjacent to the front entrance, displaying posters that may be distressing. Gardai have been notified. Please be mindful in the area.— The Rotunda Hospital (@RotundaHospital) June 13, 2018
Minister Harris says this can't be allowed to continue, suggesting it's 'worrying' that it's persisting after the vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment.
He said: "I think what exclusion zones have to be about is sending out an important message that pregnant women and healthcare professionals have an absolute right to go about seeking healthcare and providing healthcare, without that being disrupted through imagery that is offensive and upsetting."
He added: "I think it's regrettable that you need to actually have a law in this country to make sure that women attending our maternity hospital, and staff working there, don't have to be subjected to offensive images.
“Yes, I do want to see exclusion zones - I’ve asked the Attorney General and my Department to advise me on how best to do that".