Abortion clinic 'harassment' coming to an end, MSP insists

Green MSP Gillian Mackay plans to bring forward buffer zone legislation to put a stop to pro-life protests.

Buffer zones: Abortion clinic ‘harassment’ coming to an end, MSP behind legislation insists Getty Images

The days of women facing “harassment” when seeking an abortion are “coming to an end”, the MSP spearheading a campaign to change the law regarding protests at clinics has insisted.

Green MSP Gillian Mackay said she was on the verge of bringing forward legislation that, if passed, will create buffer zones around clinics, preventing anti-abortion campaigners from gathering.

She already has obtained the necessary cross-party support for her proposed member’s Bill to achieve this at Holyrood – with First Minister Humza Yousaf amongst those who have it given it their backing.

The next step is for her Bill to be formally introduced at the Scottish Parliament, where it will be scrutinised and debated by MSPs.

Mackay said that while the process of taking legislation through Holyrood could be long, she was “determined that we get it right”.

Speaking as the pro-life group 40 Days for Life prepared to begin action in Scotland on Wednesday, Mackay said she would update supporters about the progress of her legislation “very soon”.

Plans to introduce buffer zones in Scotland could be brought forward STV News

The Green MSP said: “My heart, my support and my solidarity are with everyone who will have to face the gauntlet of protests and banners. You should not have to go through it. My Bill will ensure that nobody else has to.”

Mackay added: “These protests are utterly wrong. They are designed to target, shame and intimidate people and to stop them from accessing the healthcare they are entitled to.

“Enough is enough. Their days of harassment are coming to an end. My Bill will stop them for good.”

Mackay said that “really important progress” had been made with her Bill, with the MSP saying she was now “on the verge of bringing forward legislation that will finally put a stop to these awful protests”.

She continued: “I know that the parliamentary process is a long one. I am determined that we get it right and that we do it as quickly as possible. I will be able to give a full update very soon.

“The levels of public and cross-party support I have received show the depth of feeling there is on this and the determination to get it done.”

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