Wed 28 Sep, 2022

The Scottish Greens have condemned the anti-choice campaign groups that have began 40 days of protests across Scotland outside medical facilities that provide abortion services. The protests are being coordinated by 40 Days For Life, a Texas-based anti-choice organisation. 

It is reported that campaigners will be targeting healthcare facilities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Falkirk.

The protests, which begin today, coincide with International Safe Abortion Day, an annual day of action whose aim is to defend, protect, and fulfil the right to accessible, safe and legal abortion. The protests will run until November 6th.

The Scottish Greens health spokesperson, Gillian Mackay MSP, will introduce legislation to create 150 metre safe access zones, or ‘buffer zones,’ which would stop campaigners from targeting medical facilities. 

The Bill has received the support of the Scottish Government, as well as the British Medical Association and the Royal College of GPs. Over 12,000 people filled in the Consultation about the Bill.

Gillian Mackay said:

“These protests are an appalling attempt to scare people out of accessing the healthcare they are entitled to. It will be 40 days of intimidation, and it has no place in a modern and progressive Scotland. The Bill that I am introducing will stop these protests for good. 

“It is shameful that they have chosen to launch this latest campaign of harassment on International Safe Abortion Day, a day which exists to promote safe and legal access to reproductive health.

“Some of the campaigners we have seen have used graphic banners and loudspeakers. The service users and staff I have spoken to have told me about the terrible impact that these protests have had on them and others.

“There is still vital work that must be done in Scotland and around the world to ensure that people can access safe abortions. 

“When it comes to human rights, we can’t stand still. As the appalling decision to rollback reproductive rights in the US shows, our progress can be fragile. That is why we must do everything we can to protect and advance it."

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