Buffer zone proposal to be published by summer recess
Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay has announced that the consultation analysis and final proposal for her upcoming safe access zone bill is expected to be published ahead of the summer recess, which begins on 01 July 2023.
The bill will stop anti-choice protesters from targeting medical facilities that provide abortion services. Over 12,000 people took part in the consultation, with polls showing the proposal is supported by the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions (FMQs), Gillian asked the First Minister
“Now the work of the short-life working group on buffer zones has concluded, does he agree that all of our collective focus should be on delivering national legislation as the most robust way to put buffer zones in place in Scotland – and that our aim should be to bring forward the final proposal for the Bill before the summer recess.”
In his answer, the First Minister agreed with Gillian and emphasised his support for her bill, committing that officials would drive it forward "at pace."
Speaking after FMQs, Gillian said:
“This is a really important bill and I am proud to have the support of the First Minister and the Scottish Government. I am delighted that in the weeks ahead we will be able to publish the consultation analysis and final proposal.
“There has been a huge- amount of interest in this bill, with 12,000 people taking the time to respond. I am grateful to every single one of them. Lots of people have shared really awful and heart-breaking stories with me. I want to do them justice and ensure that our bill is watertight and effective, and that we can enact it as soon as possible.
“Abortion rights are human rights, and far too many people have been targeted and intimidated by these appalling protests. My bill will stop them for good."