Te Whatu Ora Southern applies for safe zone at Dunedin abortion clinic

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Dunedin Hospital (file image).
Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon

The southern part of Te Whatu Ora has applied for a safe zone around its abortion clinic in Dunedin at the earliest opportunity.

Safe areas became a legal option for health care providers in March, preventing anti-abortion protesters from settling within 150 meters of clinics.

The first application round closed on 15 August and will be individually assessed by the Minister of Health.

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It can take up to six months for each application to be processed.

The general director of women’s and pediatrics at Te Whatu Ora Southern, Craig Ashton, said the Department of Health will conduct a site visit in the coming month as part of the application.

“The intent of the visit is primarily to gain a better understanding of the provider’s premises, the surrounding areas and the Safe Area being sought,” he said.

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“These site visits will also provide valuable insight into each provider’s location to better inform recommendations to the advisory panel.”

The second round of applications for safe zones will open in October.

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