Windsor Regional Hospital pressed to implement 150-metre protester-free zone

Windsor Regional Hospital Met Campus. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

If two Windsor women get their way, anti-abortion protesters in front of Windsor Regional Hospital will have to take their signs and move down the road.

Lauren Crowley and Julie Edwards have launched a petition calling on the hospital to apply for a 150-metre bubble zone around the facility under the Safe Access to Abortion Act.

The act automatically imposes a 50 metre zone around abortion clinics, but hospitals and other facilities that provide services other than pregnancy termination have to apply.

Crowley and Edwards said they have asked hospital CEO David Musyj why the hospital has not applied for the bubble zone when the legislation passed last year, but were told no one had complained about protesters.

With the societal stigma surrounding abortion, Crowley admitted she is not surprised no one has filed a complaint.

“We are trying to be a voice for people who may not feel they are in a position where they can voice these concerns themselves,” she said.

She said Musyj offered to bring the issue up with the hospital’s board of directors, but could not say when it will be considered. They hope the hospital applies before Windsor Right to Life starts its 40 Days of Life campaign on March 6.

The two, who have formed the group Feminists for Action, deny the buffer zone will hurt freedom of speech or debate about the accessibility of abortion.

“We understand that the people who are protesting to end abortion or praying to end abortion — they are entitled to their opinion. They’re entitled to voice it,” said Crowley. “We’re just asking that they move 150 metres down the road.”

– With files from Allanah Wills.