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Gillian Mackay MSP, has launched a consultation on their proposal for buffer zones around abortion clinics in Scotland

Today, Gillian Mackay MSP, Member for Central Scotland (Region), has launched a consultation on their proposal for buffer zones around abortion clinics in Scotland to protect women and healthcare professionals from escalating anti-abortion protests.

Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS, the UK’s leading abortion care provider, said:

“It is appalling that for years, anti-abortion groups have been permitted to harass women trying to access legal healthcare, and the clinicians who are dedicated to providing this essential service. Over the last year, we have seen a significant escalation in protest activity both in Scotland and the rest of Great Britain, and it is incredibly disappointing that the respective government’s have still not taken any action to protect women and staff.

“Buffer zones around abortion clinics are a simple solution to a growing problem. We strongly support Gillian Mackay’s proposals, and we urge all those who believe that no one should be intimidated while trying to access or provide safe, legal healthcare to make their voices heard by responding to this important consultation.

“At a time when abortion rights are under attack in many other countries, it is vital that the UK is a beacon for women’s reproductive choice. We must end anti-abortion clinic harassment as a matter of urgency.”

Notes to Editors:

The consultation launched today relates to a draft proposal Gillian MacKay has lodged as the first stage in the process of introducing a Member’s Bill in the Scottish Parliament. Following the consultation, the responses will be analysed, and the MSP then plans to lodge a final proposal in the Parliament. If that final proposal secures the support of at least 18 other MSPs from at least half of the political parties or groups represented in the Parliamentary Bureau, and the Scottish Government does not indicate that it intends to legislate in the area in question, Gillian MacKay will then have the right to introduce a Member’s Bill. A number of months may be required to finalise the Bill and related documentation. Once introduced, a Member’s Bill follows a 3-stage scrutiny process, during which it may be amended or rejected outright. If it is passed at the end of the process, it becomes an Act.

For more information, please visit: https://www.bufferzones.scot

ENDS

For further information, please contact Katherine O’Brien, BPAS Associate Director of Campaigns and Communications, on katherine.o’brien@bpas.org or 07881 265276.

About BPAS

BPAS is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: https://www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/

In 2021, BPAS launched BPAS Fertility, England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service, without profiteering from patients. Our service gives those ineligible for NHS funding an affordable option to access the care they need.