Senate denies Canavan on right to protests about abortions

SENATOR Matt Canavan says protesting outside abortion clinics is freedom of speech; but the Senate disagrees.

The Rockhampton-based senator put forward a motion on Monday which noted "the important role freedom of speech plays in the exercise of public debate" in opposition to the Greens' campaign for abortion clinic exclusion zones to prevent protestors.

The senator's motion, labelling the Greens' legislation proposition an attack on "fundamental right" to protest, was defeated in the Senate after Labor joined the Greens.

Do you support women in Queensland getting abortions?

This poll ended on 13 November 2015.

Current Results



Yes, if the woman has been raped or tests show the foetus is sick or deformed


Yes, a woman should have the right to choose what is happening to her body


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Greens senator Larissa Waters said the motion was "clumsy and amateur".

"We must defend the right to protest but not in the way which infringes on the right of an individual to access services for herself," she said.

"This is not a freedom of speech issue; this is an issue of safe and accessible healthcare. Women have the legal right to medical privacy and the human right to make choices about their own health without interference or harassment."

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