An increased access zone has been established to protect the dignity and privacy of staff and patients accessing the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic, located in the Victoria area.
“All people who use the B.C. health-care system, and who provide services for it, should be treated with courtesy, and with respect for their dignity and privacy. Access zones work to ensure this, and to support women seeking health-care services, staff providing the services and others visiting the facility,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health.
The access zone is now expanded from an original 10 metres, to up to approximately 50 metres in some places, depending on land features and private property lines, to protect clinic staff and people accessing the clinic from harassment and intimidation. Access zones are sometimes referred to as “bubble zones.” Four other facilities in B.C. already have access zones established similar to the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic. The offices and residences of doctors who provide abortion services have automatic access zones established under the Access to Abortion Services Act.
The regulation is effective as of Friday, June 1, 2018, and protests, interference, intimidation and recording of those providing abortion services or of patients, are prohibited within the expanded zone. People who do not respect the access zone, and continue to protest in it, can be arrested without a warrant by a provincial constable or municipal constable.