Sturgeon urged to introduce abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’

Monica Lennon called for the Scottish Government to introduce buffer zones to prevent abuse of women attending abortion clinics.

Sturgeon urged to introduce abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ PA Media

Nicola Sturgeon has said she would consider buffer zones outside abortion clinics to prevent women from suffering abuse.

The First Minister was asked about the harassment women faced outside abortion clinics and said the Government would “consider what steps we can take” to prevent abuse.

Speaking at FMQs, Monica Lennon, of Scottish Labour, warned that “abortion rights are under attack around the world” and challenged Sturgeon about the harassment suffered by women in Scotland trying to access clinics.

Lennon said that plans for buffer zones around clinics to prevent anti-abortion campaigners intimidating women had stalled and asked the First Minister to consider implementing them nationwide.

Sturgeon cited the SNP manifesto commitment to supporting councils that wanted to “establish by-laws to create protest-free buffer zones outside clinics that provide abortion services”.

She added: “I am a very strong believer in a woman’s right to choose on the issue of abortion and, if it’s possible, I’m an even stronger advocate – as I think everybody should be regardless of different views on abortion – that any woman having an abortion should be able to do so without any fear or reality of abuse or harassment.

“I do believe that there’s work to be done to make sure that that is the case, and I think my party’s manifesto, as other manifestos did, had things to say on this in the election.

“We will be considering steps that we can take to make sure that that is a right that women can exercise in reality.”

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