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Buffer Zones around abortion clinics introduced in Scotland

13 June 2024
Scottish Parliament 17

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament have passed a bill to introduce buffer zones around clinics providing abortions.

The Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill was passed by 118 votes to one.

The legislation, tabled by Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay, would prevent protests or vigils within 200m (656ft) of 30 clinics offering abortion services.

Opponents have argued the bill could infringe on freedom of religion and called for exclusions for silent prayer.

Ms Mackay emphasised that everyone should access healthcare with dignity and free from harassment.

A spokeswoman for Care for Scotland contended, "The police are already empowered to deal with any incidents of abuse or harassment under existing, well-balanced laws.

“Police data shows that pro-life activities do not involve the 'harassment' some campaigners claim is taking place.

“Some have wrongly sought to other and problematise peaceful pro-life people who offer support to women.

“We regret that this legislation has seen political attention diverted away from other serious issues relating to abortion: discrimination against preborn babies with disabilities; the law being out-of-step with improvements in foetal viability; record numbers of abortions; and abortions driven by inequality including poverty.

“We would urge MSPs to consider the wider picture.”

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In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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