Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (27 October) . .
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MADAM SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of former member Mr Hargreaves. Welcome back to the Assembly.
Reproductive health services
Paper and statement by minister
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social Inclusion and Equality): For the information of members, I present:
Reproductive health services in the ACT—Rights to privacy and safe access—Women's Centre for Health Matters, and Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT.
I seek leave to make a brief statement on the paper.
MS BERRY: This paper comes from over 725 people collected over a couple of weeks. It supports and asks that the Assembly support the creation of privacy zones around the termination of pregnancy services in the ACT. It goes to the right for women to have access to termination of pregnancy services in privacy without harassment, intimidation or humiliation and the need for that right to be weighed against the right to freedom of expression.
The right to privacy zones such as those being proposed by the ACT Greens member Mr Shane Rattenbury in the Health (Patient Privacy) Amendment Bill 2015 successfully balances the interests of all community members, and because of the protestors' conduct, can only be limited to the extent necessary to protect an individual's rights to privacy and safe access to health services.
There are many spaces in Canberra where people can protest lawfully, such as here outside the Assembly. I have given an invitation to those people who have taken it upon themselves to protest outside the health facility to come along here and protest to the lawmakers within the Assembly: members of the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Establishing a privacy zone outside these facilities would provide reassurance and security to women, their families and healthcare staff, which is exactly what they