Council to seek legal advice on ‘safe zones’ around abortion facilities

Council to seek legal advice on 'safe zones' around abortion facilities

Emma Coffey

Louth City Council is to seek legal advice on a proposed bye-law to prevent anti-abortion campaigners from targeting healthcare facilities offering abortion services.

Councillors approved a motion by Cllr Emma Coffey, principal at Emma Coffey Solicitors, which proposed restrictions on certain behaviour within 500 metres of a healthcare facility.

The “prohibited behaviour” would include demonstrations, leafleting and recording, as well as harassment and threats.

The chief executive of Louth City Council will now seek a legal opinion on the measures, which will also be referred to the joint policing committee and a strategic policy committee.

Pro-choice group Lawyers for Choice welcomed the motion, which it said was “the first of its kind in Ireland”.

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