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4th Session, 41st Legislature

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Bill 200

THE SAFE ACCESS TO ABORTION SERVICES ACT


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Purpose of Act

1           The purpose of this Act is to protect access to abortion services by protecting the safety, security, health and privacy of persons seeking to access these services and of persons providing, or assisting in the provision of, these services.

Definitions

2           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"abortion services" means lawful services provided for the termination of pregnancy including prescribing, dispensing or administering a drug to terminate pregnancy. (« services d'interruption volontaire de grossesse »)

"clinic" means a place, other than a place in a facility, whose primary purpose is to provide abortion services. (« clinique »)

"facility" means

(a) a place, other than a clinic, where abortion services are provided and includes a hospital or pharmacy where abortion services are provided; or

(b) the office of a member of a prescribed regulated health profession who is a protected service provider. (« établissement »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by a regulation under this Act.

"protected service provider" means a person or class of persons who work at a clinic or are members of a prescribed regulated health profession and who provides or assists in the provision of abortion services, and includes any other prescribed persons or class of persons. (« fournisseur de services protégé »)

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES IN ACCESS ZONES

Prohibitions in access zones for clinics and facilities

3(1)        While in an access zone established under section 6 for a clinic or facility, a person must not

(a) advise or persuade, or attempt to advise or persuade, a person to refrain from accessing abortion services;

(b) inform or attempt to inform a person concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means;

(c) perform or attempt to perform an act of disapproval concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means;

(d) persistently request that

(i) a person refrain from accessing abortion services, or

(ii) a protected service provider refrain from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services;

(e) for the purpose of dissuading a person from accessing abortion services,

(i) continuously or repeatedly observe the clinic or facility or persons entering or leaving the clinic or facility,

(ii) physically interfere with or attempt to physically interfere with the person,

(iii) intimidate or attempt to intimidate the person, or

(iv) photograph, film, videotape, sketch or in any other way graphically record the person;

(f) for the purpose of dissuading a protected service provider from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services,

(i) continuously or repeatedly observe the clinic or facility or persons entering or leaving the clinic or facility,

(ii) physically interfere with or attempt to physically interfere with the provider,

(iii) intimidate or attempt to intimidate the provider, or

(iv) photograph, film, videotape, sketch or in any other way graphically record the provider; or

(g) do anything prescribed for the purpose of this subsection.

Exception

3(2)        Clauses (1)(a) to (d) do not apply

(a) to anything done in the course of a person's work at the clinic or facility; or

(b) to anything occurring between a person accessing, or attempting to access, abortion services and someone who is accompanying the person with the person's consent.

Prohibitions in access zones for residences

4           While in an access zone established under section 7 for the residence of a protected service provider, a person must not

(a) perform or attempt to perform an act of disapproval, directed at or about the provider, concerning issues related to abortion services, by any means, including oral, written or graphic means;

(b) persistently request that the provider refrain from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services; or

(c) for the purpose of dissuading the provider from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services,

(i) continuously or repeatedly observe the residence,

(ii) physically interfere with or attempt to physically interfere with the provider or a member of the provider's household,

(iii) intimidate or attempt to intimidate the provider or a member of the provider's household, or

(iv) photograph, film, videotape, sketch or in any other way graphically record the provider or a member of the provider's household.

Harassment of service providers prohibited

5(1)        A person must not, for the purpose of dissuading a protected service provider from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services,

(a) repeatedly approach, accompany or follow the provider or a person known to the provider;

(b) continuously or repeatedly observe the provider;

(c) persistently request that the provider refrain from providing, or assisting in the provision of, abortion services; or

(d) engage in threatening conduct directed at the provider or a person known to the provider.

Harassment by communication prohibited

5(2)        A person must not repeatedly communicate by telephone, fax or electronic means with a protected service provider or a person known to the provider for the purpose of dissuading the provider from continuing to provide, or assist in the provision of, abortion services, after the person being communicated with has requested that such communications cease.

ACCESS ZONES

Access zones for clinics and facilities

6(1)        An access zone is established

(a) for each clinic; and

(b) for each facility prescribed for the purpose of this clause.

Extent of clinic access zones

6(2)        The access zone for a clinic consists of

(a) the premises of the clinic and the area within 50 metres, or such other prescribed distance not exceeding 150 metres, from the boundaries of the premises; or

(b) the prescribed area if an area is prescribed for the purpose of this provision.

Extent of facility access zones

6(3)        The access zone for a facility consists of

(a) the premises on which the facility is located and the area within the prescribed distance, not exceeding 150 metres, from the boundaries of the premises; or

(b) the prescribed area if an area is prescribed for the purpose of this provision.

Limitation

6(4)        No part of an area prescribed for the purpose of clause (2)(b) or (3)(b) may be farther than 150 metres from the closest boundary of the premises on which the clinic or facility is located.

Certain property excluded

6(5)        The access zone for a clinic or facility does not include real property that one or more persons has the exclusive right to use or occupy if none of those persons is the occupier of the clinic or facility.

Regulations made only on request, after notice

6(6)        A regulation prescribing a facility for the purpose of clause (1)(b) or prescribing anything in relation to a clinic or facility for the purpose of subsection (2) or (3) may be made only if the occupier of the clinic or facility

(a) has requested that the clinic or facility be prescribed; or

(b) has been given notice by the minister of the minister's intention to recommend the regulation and a reasonable opportunity to make written submissions before the regulation is made.

Revocations not affected

6(7)        Subsection (6) does not apply to

(a) a regulation that revokes anything prescribed for the purpose of subsection (2) in relation to a clinic that ceases to be a clinic; or

(b) a regulation that revokes the prescription of a facility for the purpose of clause (1)(b) or that revokes anything prescribed for the purpose of subsection (3) in relation to a facility that ceases to be prescribed for the purpose of clause (1)(b).

Access zones for residences

7(1)        An access zone is established for the residence of each protected service provider.

Extent of residence zone

7(2)        The access zone for a residence consists of the residential premises and the area within 150 metres, or such other prescribed lesser distance, from the boundaries of the premises.

Certain property excluded

7(3)        The access zone for a residence of a protected service provider does not include real property that one or more persons has the exclusive right to use or occupy if none of those persons is the provider or a member of the provider's household.

ENFORCEMENT

Offences

8           A person who contravenes subsection 3(1) or section 4 or 5 is guilty of an offence and is liable, on conviction,

(a) in the case of a first offence, to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both;

(b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence under this Act, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.

Knowledge or notice of zone required for conviction

9           A person may not be convicted of an offence for contravening subsection 3(1) or section 4 unless the person knew or, at any time before the contravention, was given notice of, the location of the relevant access zone.

Damages

10          A person who suffers loss as a result of a contravention of subsection 3(1) or section 4 or 5 by another person has a right of action for damages against that person.

Injunction

11          On application by a person, including the minister, the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba may grant an injunction to restrain a person from contravening subsection 3(1) or section 4 or 5.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

12          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) setting out, for information purposes, the names and locations of the clinics and descriptions of the access zones established under section 6 for those clinics;

(b) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(c) prescribing anything referred to in this Act as prescribed.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

13          This Act may be referred to as chapter S2 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

14          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill provides for safe access to abortion services.

Access zones are created for clinics and facilities that provide abortion services and for service providers.

Certain activities are prohibited within these zones. For example, a person must not

  • attempt to persuade another person to refrain from accessing abortion services;
  • perform acts of disapproval within a zone;
  • continuously or repeatedly observe people within a zone.