Abortion clinics in Ireland could soon see the introduction of safe access zones, as part of a new proposed legislation set to be unveiled by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.

This move would see a buffer zone of around 330 feet around such facilities.

The Irish Examiner reported the legislation could materialize as early as next week.

It may also include provisions for penalties up to around $3,300 or 6 month imprisonment for repeat offenders protesting within these zones.

The police would be obliged to issue an initial warning before any legal action, in accordance with recommendations from a joint health committee.

The “safe access zones initiative” began in 2019 alongside the legalization of abortion and is gaining momentum in light of increased abortion rates.

Over 8,000 were recorded last year, marking a considerable rise from previous years.

However, the right to protest or advocate outside these protective zones would remain safeguarded under the prospective legislation.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, abortion is “gravely contrary to moral law.”

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” – CCC 2271

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