Holyrood passes legislation to bring in abortion buffer zones

Green MSP Gillian Mackay, whose Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill was passed today. Image: PA

Holyrood has overwhelmingly passed new laws to introduce buffer zones banning protesters from gathering outside clinics where abortions are carried out.

MSPs voted in favour of the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill by 118 votes to one.

It will see 200-metre zones set up at 30 sites across Scotland where anti-abortion protesters are barred from gathering.

The vote means Scotland follows other parts of the UK in introducing such legislation.

Only SNP backbencher John Mason voted against the new law, but Green MSP Gillian Mackay - who brought the Bill - said that now it was passed the “protection will be seismic for women and staff” at abortion clinics.

She stressed the Bill was about “protecting women’s access to healthcare” as she hailed campaigners, such as those at Back Off Scotland, who had spoken out against the protests and the impact they can have.

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