For years now the anti-abortion group “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants” (HoGPI) have been a presence outside the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne.
The Clinic which provides abortion services to women has been complaining for years about anti-abortion protesters congregating outside their premises and harassing women.
A security guard at the clinic, Steve Rogers, was murdered by an anti-abortion crusader in 2001. Six months ago, a man was charged with threatening to kill another security guard at the clinic.
Melbourne City Council has agreed that police can now fine people under council by-laws that previously had not applied to the protesters.
“They’re (the protesters) more inclined to be concerned with their actual cause rather than the effect that they have on people. It’s a simple issue of creating a real nuisance and impeding someone’s progress. They can still hold the posters or pamphlets out for people to take but they can’t block access to the gate or stand in front of them.” –Inspector Chris Duthie, from Melbourne East police station,
“Protesters were peaceful and prayerful and offering help to women. We know that people are always going to complain about people making it visible what’s going on inside that building, so we know that people don’t like being reminded that babies are being killed there.” -Tanya O’Brien from the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.