Anti-abortion protester pleads not guilty

An anti-abortion protester has pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with the direction of a police officer in the Hobart Magistrates Court.

John Preston, 58, of Queensland, allegedly staged two pro-life protests near Hobart pregnancy termination clinics this week.

Mr Preston was not charged with the new offence created in the Reproductive Health Act that restricts protests from occuring within 150 metres of a termination clinic, but was instead charged with refusing to move on from the area at the request of police.

Lawyers for Mr Preston said their case against the charges would be based around Constitutional arguments involving the Reproductive Health Act. 

Mr Preston will reappear on May 7.

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