Man charged over anti-abortion protest

A BRISBANE man has become the first person charged in connection to the anti-protest provisions of Tasmania's Reproductive Health Act for staging an anti-abortion protest near a Hobart clinic this morning.

The man was allegedly seen by passers by as early as 8.30am this morning, standing on the corner of Macquarie and Victoria Streets in Hobart near the Victoria Street termination clinic.

Under the Reproductive Health Act, which became law last month, it is an office to conduct an protest about terminations within 150 metres of a termination clinic.

It is also an offence to harass or intimidate people going into a termination clinic, film people entering a terminations clinic or run footpath interference.

The office is punishable by up to 12 months jail or a fine of up to $9750.

However the man was not charged under that provision but was charged with failing to comply with the direction of a police officer when asked to move on.  

Hobart police Inspector Glen Woolley said the man was found by police protesting and handing out anti-abortion information within 150 metres of the clinic.

Inspector Woolley said the man had been bailed and would face court later this week.

Tasmania is the first jurisdiction to introduce access zones around termination clinics.