Requires buffer zones round abortion clinics in Scotland after protests | Scotland

The Scottish authorities is going through rising calls to impose buffer zones round abortion clinics amid fears that potential modifications to abortion rights within the US are emboldening anti-choice protesters.

A leaked US draft supreme courtroom ruling overturning Roe v Wade has sharpened anxieties over delays in implementing the SNP’s 2021 manifesto pledge to help native authorities to determine protest-free zones round clinics.

With rising ranges of protests outdoors hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scottish Labour referred to as for an emergency summit to debate the “urgent” introduction of buffer zones. Similar zones exist in a handful of native authorities in England following a landmark case in Ealing, west London.

The first minister and SNP chief, Nicola Sturgeon, mentioned that “the right of women to decide what happens to our own bodies is a human right” after studies that Roe v Wade, the 1973 case that assured the suitable to abortion within the US, may very well be overturned.

She tweeted on Tuesday: “Experience tells us that removing the legal right to abortion doesn’t stop abortions happening – it just makes them unsafe and puts the lives of women at much greater risk.”

But Back Off Scotland co-founder Lucy Grieve mentioned Sturgeon’s outrage “goes only so far”. “There are real, tangible threats to abortion access in Scotland that are going unchallenged by her government. The women’s health minister, Maree Todd, claims that she wants Scotland to be world leading on women’s healthcare, yet her inaction is emboldening these protesters. If she cannot show courage and legislate on this issue, then she must step aside for somebody that will.”

Campaigners and opposition politicians have grown more and more pissed off by delays, which Sturgeon final month blamed on “legal complexities”, with the Scottish Lib Dem chief, Alex Cole-Hamilton, saying her authorities had “stalled and dissembled”.

Now Scottish Green get together MSP Gillian Mackay intends to launch a member’s invoice to implement authorized restrictions later this month.

Calling for a direct summit of MSPs, healthcare girls’s organisations and clinicians, Scottish Labour’s Monica Lennon mentioned: “The Scottish government needs to be more transparent about what the potential legal obstacles are. Maree Todd has said that national legislation is not the answer, but unfortunately these delays have emboldened anti-abortion protests, which have got bigger and more intense in recent months.”

On Wednesday, Lennon confronted protesters standing with placards outdoors the maternity unit of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow. “I respect your right to pray and protest but you can pray at church, you can protest at the parliament, this is a place where women access healthcare,” she mentioned earlier than asking the group in the event that they have been conscious of the upset they have been inflicting.

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“This is a very difficult time for many women due to foetal abnormalities, women and girls who’ve been raped, women who are making a choice for their own reasons.” The group insisted “it’s a prayer vigil not a protest” however confirmed they needed to finish abortion care in Scotland.

Last month, 76 consultants from the QEUH wrote to Todd calling on her to “show courage” and introduce protest-free “buffer zones” throughout all clinics offering abortions in Scotland.

Lead signatory and advisor paediatric radiologist Dr Greg Irwin mentioned colleagues have been “seriously concerned” in regards to the protests, which may be seen and heard by sufferers on wards within the maternity unit, including: “We know first-hand how distressing this harassment is for our patients, which makes it infuriating for us as clinical staff to have to pass these groups day in, day out.”

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