The Council supports the right to protest. The Council was founded in response to the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. While our concerns have broadened, supporting the right to protest remains a focus.
We have concluded that on balance the right of pregnant people and medical practitioners to be free from harassment outweighs the right of individuals to protest in the immediate vicinity of a facility providing health services. Individuals who oppose abortion may still protest outside designated safe areas.
The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties supports the Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill. The Council finds it provides an acceptable balance between necessary controls and civil liberties.
We have also recommended that regulations to implement this law should be required, not discretionary.