Committee call for evidence a 'key moment' for Gillian Mackay’s buffer zone bill

Parliamentary scrutiny begins on Gillian Mackay's bill to stop anti-choice protesters from targeting hospitals.

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay has welcomed the Committee for Health, Social Care and Sport’s call for views on her buffer zone bill ahead of the stage one evidence panels which will take evidence from stakeholders.

It is a key moment in the parliamentary process and will allow people and organisations to respond to the provisions in the bill, which was published this month.

Ms Mackay’s bill would create 200 metre buffer zones to stop protesters from targeting hospitals and sites that provide abortion services. 

The bill has already received cross party support, with more than 70 MSPs, including the First Minister Humza Yousaf, backing her campaign.

Ms Mackay said:

“This is a key moment and marks the start of parliamentary scrutiny for my members bill. I hope that as many people as possible engage with the process. This is a crucial bill and I want it to be as effective and robust as possible.

“The consultation I undertook when preparing my bill received over 12,000 submissions, which shows the depth of feeling. This feedback was crucial to shaping it, and I hope that we see a similar level of engagement for this stage of the process as well.

“There is no excuse for the intimidation and harassment that far too many people have been forced to endure outside hospitals all over Scotland. It is totally wrong, and my bill will end it for good.”