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SNL2016 CHAPTER A-1.02

ACCESS TO ABORTION SERVICES ACT

Amended:

 

CHAPTER A-1.02

AN ACT TO CREATE SAFE ACCESS ZONES AROUND FACILITIES AND HOMES OF DOCTORS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS PROVIDING OR FACILITATING ABORTION SERVICES

(Assented to December 14, 2016)

Analysis



Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Access to Abortion Services Act .

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "abortion services" means lawful medical services provided for the termination of pregnancy;

             (b)  "access zone" means a zone established under section 6, 7 or 8;

             (c)  "beset" means

                      (i)  to continuously or repeatedly observe

                            (A)  a patient, service provider or doctor who provides abortion services,

                            (B)  a residence of a patient, service provider or doctor who provides abortion services, or

                            (C)  a building in which abortion services are provided, or

                     (ii)  to place oneself close to, and persistently request that

                            (A)  a patient refrain from accessing abortion services, or

                            (B)  a service provider or doctor who provides abortion services refrain from providing abortion services;

             (d)  "doctor" means a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador ;

             (e)  "facility" means a hospital, clinic or doctor's office in which abortion services are provided;

             (f)  "interference" means

                      (i)  advising or persuading, or attempting to advise or persuade, a person to refrain from accessing abortion services, or

                     (ii)  informing or attempting to inform a person concerning issues related to abortion services,

by any means, including graphic, verbal or written means;

             (g)  "patient" means a person who is in an access zone in the course of accessing abortion services, and includes any other person, other than a service provider or doctor who provides abortion services, accompanying him or her;

             (h)  "protest" includes any act of disapproval or attempted act of disapproval, concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including graphic, verbal or written means;

              (i)  "residence" means the usual place where a person makes his or her home; and

              (j)  "service provider" means a person, other than a doctor, who provides, or facilitates the provision of, abortion services.

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Activities restricted in access zone

        3. (1) While in an access zone, a person shall not do any of the following:

             (a)  engage in interference;

             (b)  protest;

             (c)  beset;

             (d)  physically interfere with or attempt to interfere with a patient, service provider or doctor who provides abortion services; or

             (e)  intimidate or attempt to intimidate a patient, service provider or doctor who provides abortion services.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary or a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police may carry out his or her duties in an access zone.

             (3)  In a prosecution under paragraph (1)(a), it is a defence if the defendant establishes that he or she was

             (a)  a patient;

             (b)  a service provider; or

             (c)  a doctor who provides abortion services.

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No graphic recording in access zone

        4. A person shall not photograph, film, videotape, sketch or in any other way graphically record a patient, service provider or doctor who provides abortion services while the patient, service provider or doctor who performs abortion services is in an access zone, for the purpose of dissuading that person from providing, facilitating the provision of or accessing abortion services.

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No harassment

        5. (1) A person shall not do any of the following for the purpose of dissuading a service provider or doctor who provides abortion services from providing or facilitating the provision of abortion services:

             (a)  repeatedly approach, accompany or follow the service provider or doctor who provides abortion services or a person known to the service provider or doctor who provides abortion services;

             (b)  beset; or

             (c)  engage in threatening conduct directed at the service provider or doctor who provides abortion services or a person known to the service provider or doctor who provides abortion services.

             (2)  A person shall not repeatedly communicate by telephone, facsimile or electronic means with another person without his or her consent for the purpose of dissuading a service provider or doctor who provides abortion services from beginning or continuing to provide, or to facilitate the provision of, abortion services.

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Access zone - facilities

        6. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish, by regulation, an access zone for a specific facility.

             (2)  An access zone established under subsection (1) includes the land on which the facility is located and a prescribed area that extends out a distance not exceeding 50 metres from the boundaries of the land on which the facility is located.

             (3)  An access zone established under subsection (1) does not include private property outside the land on which the facility is located, other than private property that the operator of the facility has an exclusive right to use or occupy.

             (4)  A regulation made under subsection (1) may establish access zones with different dimensions for different facilities.

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Access zone - residences of doctors and service providers

        7. (1) An access zone is established for the residence of every doctor who provides abortion services.

             (2)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish by regulation an access zone for the residences of a class of service providers or the residence of a specific service provider.

             (3)  An access zone established under subsection (1) or (2) includes the land on which the residence is located and an area that extends out 160 metres from the boundaries of the land on which the residence is located.

             (4)  An access zone established under subsection (1) or (2) does not include private property outside the land on which the residence is located, other than private property that the service provider or doctor who provides abortion services has an exclusive right to use or occupy.

             (5)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may decrease, by regulation, the distance referred to in subsection (3) for a specific residence.

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Access zone - doctors' offices

        8. (1) An access zone is established for the office of every doctor who provides abortion services.

             (2)  An access zone established under subsection (1) includes the land on which the office is located and an area that extends out 10 metres from the boundaries of the land on which the office is located.

             (3)  An access zone established under subsection (1) does not include private property outside the land on which the office is located, other than private property that the doctor who provides abortion services has an exclusive right to use or occupy.

             (4)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may vary, by regulation, the distance referred to in subsection (2) for a specific building, up to a maximum of 20 metres.

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Notice

        9. A person shall only be convicted of contravening subsection 3(1) or section 4 in an access zone if the person knew, or, at any time before the contravention, was given notice of, the location of the access zone.

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Damages

      10. A person who suffers loss as a result of a contravention of this Act by another person may recover damages from the other person for the loss.

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Injunction

      11. (1) On application by a person, including the Attorney General, the Trial Division may grant an injunction to restrain a person from contravening a provision of this Act.

             (2)  An injunction may be granted under subsection (1) whether or not a penalty or other remedy is provided by this Act.

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Offence and penalties

      12. (1) A person commits an offence who contravenes subsection 3(1), section 4 or section 5.

             (2)  A person is liable on a first conviction for an offence to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or to both.

             (3)  A person is liable on a second or subsequent conviction for an offence to

             (a)  a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000; or

             (b)  both a fine under paragraph (a) and imprisonment for not more than one year.

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Regulations

      13. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

             (a)  establishing access zones for specific facilities;

             (b)  establishing access zones for the residences of a class of service providers or the residence of a specific service provider;

             (c)  varying access zones for specific buildings where a doctor's office is located;

             (d)  decreasing the access zones for specific residences of doctors who provide abortions services;

             (e)  defining a word or expression that is not defined in this Act; and

             (f)  generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

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