Buffer zones must be first step in expanding abortion rights

Abortion rights are healthcare.

The introduction of buffer zones to stop anti-choice protesters targeting hospitals must be the first in a series of changes to expand and protect reproductive rights in Scotland, says Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay.

In a question to the First Minister this afternoon, Ms Mackay called for the Scottish Government to work with her to deliver further progress in increasing access to abortion services up to the legal limit, expanding access to IVF and removing abortion from criminal law.

Ms Mackay has introduced a Members Bill to deliver 200 metre safe access zones, or buffer zones, to stop anti-choice protests outside medical centres.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Mackay welcomed the First Minister’s support for her Bill and said: “Around the world in recent years we have seen reproductive rights go backwards in countries such as the US, Poland, and Brazil. But there are glimmers of hope, with rights expanding in Argentina and Colombia and the right to an abortion being enshrined in the constitution in France.

“Does the First Minister agree with me that safe access zones must be the first step in advancing rights here in Scotland? And does he believe that we should go further including providing abortion in Scotland up to the legal limit, ensuring equitable access to IVF and removing abortion from criminal law?”