A High Court appeal to overturn state legislation regarding protester exclusion zones around abortion clinics has been dismissed.
The appeal was brought on by two anti-abortion protesters, one from Tasmania and the other from Victoria, about respective state laws which they argued were unconstitutional as they prohibited freedom of speech on political matters.
Tasmanian Parliament passed legislation in 2013 which allowed for access to surgical terminations and put in place a 150-metre exclusion zone around abortion clinic premises to prevent protests outside the premises.
Graham Preston was convicted in the Hobart Magistrates Court on three counts of disobeying this law in 2014 and 2015 through being within the exclusion zone with placards, one reading "every child has the right to life".
The High Court unanimously rejected his challenge on Wednesday.
"The court unanimously held that the burden imposed by the protest prohibition was justified by reference to its legitimate purposes, which include the protection of the safety, wellbeing, privacy and dignity of persons accessing premises at which abortions are provided and ensuring unimpeded access to lawful medical services," the ruling said.
Deputy Labor Leader Michelle O'Byrne welcomed the High Court decision as it meant Tasmanian women could access the medical procedure free from bullying.
"Now the matter of access zones had been dealt with by the High Court, we will continue the fight to ensure affordable and safe access to terminations free from harassment," she said.
Tasmania is one of five states and territories which have exclusion zones around abortion clinics.