EDMONTON - Alberta has introduced legislation to keep protesters at least 50 metres away from abortion clinics, and to make it illegal for demonstrators to video or take pictures of people entering or leaving the building.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says legislation is needed because it is intolerable for staff and patients to face abuse and harassment while using a legal medical service.

Hoffman also says protests have been on the rise at the two clinics that perform most of the abortions in the province.

Under the proposed legislation, demonstrators would not be allowed to go near the offices or homes of doctors who perform abortions or harass them by phone or online.

Anyone who breaks the law faces a maximum $10,000 fine or up to a year in jail.

If the bill passes, Alberta will join Ontario, Quebec, B.C., and Newfoundland and Labrador, which have already passed similar rules for so-called safe zones.