Tue 4 Jul, 2017

This is about trusting women to decide what is best for them. Alison Johnstone MSP

Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, tonight (4 July) welcomed comments from the Scottish Government that it believes women from Northern Ireland should be able to access an abortion for free in Scotland.

According to a newspaper report, Scottish Ministers will "set out shortly how that can be achieved."

The issue was originally raised by Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie at First Minister's Questions last November, with Alison Johnstone writing to the public health minister seeking an update three weeks ago.

It follows the UK government saying last week it would start to fund the procedures in England. Northern Ireland's laws make it almost impossible to have an abortion there. 

Alison said:

"I'm pleased the Scottish Government agrees with Greens that the stress and costs that women in Northern Ireland face are unacceptable. Scotland has a chance to provide much-needed support. This is about trusting women to decide what is best for them.

"I look forward to the public health minister replying to me with details of how Scotland will provide free access to abortion for women from Northern Ireland, and I will continue to urge Scottish Ministers to consult on decriminalising abortion."

Wales and Scotland offer free abortions to women from Northern Ireland (Guardian, 4 July):

Patrick's FMQ (17 November):

Alison's letter to the public health minister (16 June):

Get involved

More like this

Government pledge on mental health being delivered too slowly, warns Johnstone

Wed 13 Jun, 2018

A government pledge to put in place an extra 800 mental health workers is being delivered too slowly, warned Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone in today’s (13 June) Holyrood debate on mental health.

Alison said:

Johnstone challenges health minister over breast cancer treatment drug

Thu 31 May, 2018

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP today (31 May) challenged Scottish health minister Shona Robison to use government powers to make breast cancer treatment drug Perjeta available on the NHS.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium has repeatedly rejected the drug’s use by the NHS, claiming it is not cost-effective.

However, almost 1,000 breast cancer patients could benefit from this drug every year, some of whom could survive for a further sixteen months

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

Ruskell comments on latest legal action over air pollution

Thu 17 May, 2018

"This is as much Scotland’s failure as the UK’s."

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP today (17 May) responded to the news that the European Commission is taking the British Government to court for breaching EU air quality rules.

The EU's environment commissioner says Britain has broken limits on levels of health-damaging nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and failed to provide "credible, effective and timely" plans to cut pollution.