Legislators in Ontario, Canada passed a bill just last week which essentially makes it illegal for pro-life protestors to be anywhere between 50 and 150 meters of eight abortion clinics.
A first-time violation of the zones could land violators a fine of up to $5,000 and a six-month prison stay. Violate the zones a second time, and the fine is anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000 and a prison term of up to a year.
Only one elected official voted against the bill.
In a press release following the passage of the bill, Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian pro-life organization, stated:
This law, which was drafted by Planned Parenthood and their allies in the abortion business, using feeling-based anecdotes and hearsays, lacked any real evidence that backed their claims of the war-like atmosphere outside abortion facilities. This law is the first step in silencing and criminalizing speech that is not the official opinion of the state. The whole process of fast-tracking this bill, and slandering pro-life people throughout, was a shame.
As reported by CBC:
Campaign Life Coalition released a statement threatening a legal challenge to the bill “if necessary,” saying it attacks freedom of speech.
Naqvi has previously said that going through a proper legislative process — even an expedited one — versus immediate passage helps to ensure the bill can withstand a constitutional challenge.
No changes were made to the bill between its introduction and its passage.
The law will not come into force immediately, however, as the zones need to be set through regulations, Naqvi said.
There will be an application process for other health-care providers or pharmacists, as some Ontario pharmacies recently started offering the abortion pill, Mifegymiso.
Anyone who violates the safe zones will face up to $5,000 in fines and six months in jail for a first offence and fines of $1,000 to $10,000 and up to a year in jail for a second or subsequent offence.