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Bradshaw supports safe access zones to protect right to dignity and access to healthcare

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said she will work to ensure the passage of a comprehensive Safe Access Zones Bill in order to “protect the right to dignity and access to healthcare” for women seeking reproductive healthcare.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking during an Assembly debate on the issue, 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,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“Today’s debate has re-emphasised how vital human dignity is, and how important it is to stop breaches of that dignity. While there is a right to dignified protest, there is no right to protests which intentionally cause a gauntlet of hate and harm designed to steal dignity from anyone – particularly when they are specifically targeted at women likely already to be in a vulnerable state. That is what the Assembly is saying by endorsing the principles of this Bill.

“While there is some detailed work still to do, the fundamentals of this Bill are both sound and important, serving a vital purpose to protect dignity and rights of those having them stolen from them currently.”