Activists at an abortion rights protest have clashed with men bearing crosses at a rally in Perth on Thursday.
Around two dozen pro-choice supporters gathered outside Wesley Church before marching through the city to call for better abortion access in WA.
It follows a recent decision in the United States Supreme Court to strip back the laws allowing safe abortions.
Several men holding up wooden crosses tried to disrupt the rally in Perth by heckling speakers.
One man, who described himself as a Christian Nationalist and wore a hoodie bearing the words Australia First, pushed his cross into speakers’ faces.
Another two men stood on the sidelines, one with a cross, the other with a video camera.
Organizer Nicole McEwen said she found it ironic the men were claiming to be Christians, as abortion rights activists had been invited by the church where they were meeting to hold their protest there.
The protesters then marched to Parliament House to present a petition to Greens MP Brad Pettitt demanding that the WA Government remove abortion from the criminal code.
They also called for abortions to be made free and for the removal of a requirement for approval by multiple doctors.
Ms McEwen, who on Wednesday approached Premier Mark McGowan while he was holding a press conference at the University of WA to ask him when he would make abortion free, said their aim was to remove barriers for anyone seeking an abortion.
“We think it should be completely subsidized and made more available in public hospitals and GP clinics,” she said.
“Because there’s only two major abortion clinics in the State, and they’re both private.”
Anger over abortion rights being stripped away by the US Supreme Court has prompted several WA rallies, with hundreds protesting outside the US Consulate General in Perth in June.
Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson in June revealed work was underway to modernize WA’s abortion laws, which have been described as among the most oppressive in Australia.
In WA, women who seek an abortion after 20 weeks must have their request reviewed by an “ethics panel” consisting of six medical practitioners, two of whom must agree the mother or fetus has a severe medical condition that justifies the procedure.
Mr McGowan said on Wednesday he understood a review of WA’s abortion regimen would be completed by the end of the year.