The anti-choice group claim their hidden camera only gets “a broad picture of the street”, is there for their protection, and is not intended to intimidate women accessing the clinic. So why does it point directly at the entrance to the clinic?
The “Helper’s of God’s Precious Infants” claim that their actions are not illegal, because as the law stands now illegal surveillance has to involve an audio recording.
There have been attempts to deal with this issue legislatively.
Last year the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) recomended in a report of surviellance in public places, that the Victorian government make it an offence to undertake surviellance in order to intimidate. The Victorian government has not acted on the issue. More info here.
At this time it seems we cannot rely on the state, the law or the police to end HoGPI’s attack on women’s rights. It’s up to members of our community to get out on the street and say “enough is enough”.
The situation now…
After a three month campaign over the winter of 2011, the anti-choice group HoGPI were forced to cease filming the entrance to the clinic on Engelhardt Street.
31 August 2011, Report: HoGPI reject compromise in mediation talks:
After much obfuscation, the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants rejected this proposal.
They refuse to stop approaching women trying to access the clinic, despite firm Police warnings at tonight’s meeting that such behavior could constitute intimidation.
There was some progress.
HoGPI have agreed not to film women entering the clinic for the time being.
Staff at the clinic and Albury Choice activists continue to monitor the behaviour of the fundamentalist group. In our assessment their behaviour continues to constitute intimidation and harassment.