Gillian Mackay buffer zones bill secures overwhelming support of MSPs

Nobody should be harassed when accessing healthcare.

Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay has thanked all of the MSPs who have voted to support her Safe Access Zones bill in today’s Stage 1 debate.

It is a key moment for the bill, which will now proceed to stage 2 where it will receive further scrutiny, before a final vote at stage 3.

Following the vote, which saw the bill win support by 123 votes to 1, Ms Mackay said: “I am proud to have received the support of so many MSPs from across our chamber. 

“It is a sign of how seriously our Parliament takes this issue, and the importance that MSPs from all parties put on protecting reproductive rights and safe access to healthcare. 

“Today we have taken a big step towards delivering buffer zones. But the story of this bill isn’t about what happens in parliament. It is about the totally inappropriate and completely unnecessary pain and intimidation that has been inflicted on so many people. 

“All over Scotland, there are women who have sought abortion care and felt unable to defend themselves in the face of activity designed to shame and frighten them. My bill will put a stop to this.

“A lot of the people who have shared their stories with me have been left feeling judged and vulnerable by protesters, and some have felt scared accessing healthcare they are entitled to.

"It is sad and infuriating that my bill is even necessary, but I don’t want anyone else to experience this kind of harassment.

“I want this to be the strongest bill that it can be, and I look forward to working with MSPs from all parties to ensure it is as robust as possible and that we end the protests for good.”

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