Fri 15 Jul, 2022

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the announcement that the Royal College of GPs is supporting Green MSP Gillian Mackay's Member's Bill to establish 150 metre buffer zones to stop campaigners from holding protests outside medical facilities that provide abortion services. [1]

Last month the Bill received the support of the Scottish BMA and a recent poll showed that two thirds of Scots support the introduction of buffer zones.[2]

Gillian Mackay MSP said:

"I am very grateful for the support of the Royal College of GPs. I am glad that this Bill has been supported by so many medical professionals as well as the public. Abortion rights are human rights, and, as the appalling decision to rollback reproductive rights in the US shows, our progress can be fragile and we need to protect it."

“Nobody should be harassed or abused when accessing healthcare. By establishing buffer zones we can put a stop to the shocking protests that we have seen from anti-choice campaigners. I will continue to work with the Royal College of GPs and other expert organisations to progress this legislation as quickly as possible.”

Dr Chris Williams, Joint Chair of RCGP Scotland, said:

“RCGP Scotland is proud to add our support to the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill."

“We agree that these protests should not take place at health care settings, where patients have the right to access abortion care free from fear and healthcare staff have the right to work free from harassment."

“People seek abortion care for a multitude of reasons and we must protect their ability to seek advice at the earliest opportunity. RCGP is deeply concerned that protests could cause such distress to women that they defer their treatment. It is the doctors, nurses and midwives at these facilities who are qualified to give safe medical care, and the undermining of medical advice by these protests is dangerous."

“We welcome the steps this Bill takes to protect the safe access to healthcare for all.”


[1] The statement from the Royal College of GPs:

[2] The polling on buffer zones:

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