Politics

Scottish abortion clinics have waited ‘too lengthy’ for buffer zones to distance protesters



Abortion clinics in Scotland have waited “too long” for the introduction of buffer zones to push again protesters and supply better safety to sufferers.

Scottish Lib Dem chief Alex Cole-Hamilton stated girls getting into clinics ought to be protected against “harassment” by anti-abortion campaigners.

Buffer zones would ban sure actions which are designed to discourage or stop girls from accessing abortion care inside 150 metres of the doorway to a clinic or hospital.

Nicola Sturgeon has beforehand stated that anti-abortion campaigners ought to protest outdoors of the Scottish Parliament and never in entrance of clinics.

A working group on the topic has met to debate methods to guard sufferers however no suggestions have but been revealed.

It comes as politicians from all events at Holyrood condemned reviews the US Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning the landmark Roe vs Wade legislation – which might in the end ban abortion entry in round half of American states.

Cole-Hamilton stated: “We must make sure that we protect the rights of women to access safe and legal abortion in the UK without harassment.

“For years, campaigners, including myself, have been calling for buffer zones around abortion clinics to ensure that people in a time of need are not faced with intimidation and shame at a time when they deserve support and empathy.

“No one thinks that Nicola Sturgeon and Maree Todd have anything in common with the US Republican party and its legal assault on personal freedoms, but the fact is that they have stalled and dissembled over these buffer zones for far too long.”

Responding to reports from the US, Nicola Sturgeon, said the “right of women to decide what happens to our own bodies is a human right”.

The First Minister added: “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.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said reports on the US Supreme Court stance represented a “massive, massive step backwards” for the rights of women.

He added he was “not for a second suggesting that the Scottish Government would associate themselves in any way” with the events in the US, but said “”dither and delay” on the introduction of buffer zones “is not acceptable”.

He continued: “I feel there’s a clear majority within the inhabitants that’s supportive of making these buffer zones, and we shouldn’t have any delay. We ought to simply get on with it.”

When asked about the issue of buffer zones at FMQs last month, Sturgeon said: ““First, can I say, on behalf of the Scottish Government but also as First Minister personally, that we are committed to ensuring that all women are able to access timely abortions without judgment.

“I condemn, and I will do so in the strongest possible terms, any attempts to intimidate women as they choose to access abortion services.

“People, of course, have a right to protest against abortion, but they should do that outside Parliament, where the laws are made. They should not do that outside a hospital, where women are undergoing abortions, and of course, experiencing often, as they do so, extreme distress.

“The buffer zones working group has been meeting and is looking at ways to prevent any patients feeling harassed or intimidated when accessing healthcare.”

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