Councillor backs Safe Access Zone bill after anti-abortion protests at Craigavon Hospital

With regular protests against abortion held outside Craigavon Hospital, the Alliance Party has welcomed progress on the Safe Access Zones Bill

Alliance Upper Bann representative, Councillor Eóin Tennyson, says it is vital to protect the right to dignity and access to healthcare for women seeking reproductive healthcare, and will have an impact locally.

Cllr Tennyson was speaking after the Bill passed Consideration Stage in the Assembly, which was part of a Bill to make provision of safe access zones for premises providing abortion services.

“The Private Member’s Bill on safe access zones is important for the safety, well-being, privacy and dignity of often vulnerable women who have a right to live free from intimidation and to access healthcare services,” he said.

Alliance Cllr Eóin Tennyson, who will be standing as a candidate for Upper Bann in the forthcoming NI Assembly elections.

“It is unacceptable that anyone is subjected to intimidation whilst simply trying to access or deliver healthcare, as has been the case at hospitals and clinics across NI. We know this has been an issue with protests regularly at the entrance to Craigavon Area Hospital, with women and healthcare workers reporting feeling intimidated. Women who have suffered miscarriage have spoken of the traumatising impact some of the imagery at these protests has caused. While there is a right to dignified protest, there is no right to protest in a location which is intended to cause harm or specifically to women likely already to be in a vulnerable state. I hope it will become law before the end of this mandate.”

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