Parliament must stand together to protect reproductive rights

Nobody should be harassed when accessing healthcare.

MSPs from all parties must unite to protect and enhance reproductive rights, says Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay, ahead of today's parliamentary debate and Stage 1 vote on her Safe Access Zones Bill.

The bill will create 200 metre safe access zones, or ‘buffer zones’ to stop anti-choice campaign groups from protesting outside hospitals or other abortion service providers.

Stage 1 is a key stage for a bill, and is the first time MSPs will vote on its principles. It will then progress to stage 2 where it will receive amendments and further scrutiny ahead of the final vote at stage 3.

Ms Mackay said: “This is a key stage for my bill and the first time that MSPs will have the opportunity to vote on its principles ahead of amendments.

“This can and must be a moment of unity for our Parliament. I am proud to have the support of MSPs from all parties, and hope that we can all stand together to send the strongest possible message.

“Abortion rights are human rights and are key to my feminism, but my bill is also about respecting people’s right to privacy and to access healthcare free from obstruction.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped to get my bill to this stage. It has been a team effort with MSPs, campaigners and everyone who took part in my consultation. 

“I particularly want to thank the many people who have reached out and shared what must have been very harrowing stories and experiences. I want to ensure that nobody else has to face such intimidation.”

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