Green MSP Gillian Mackay

Scottish Green Party MSP Gillian Mackay has celebrated the passing into law of her bill to bring in buffer zones around healthcare facilities offering abortions. The bill passed by 118 votes to 1 at its final stage in the Scottish Parliament.

The legislation will prohibit protests from taking place within 200 metres of healthcare facilities that perform abortions. Supporters of the measure say it will prevent intimidation of people seeking abortions and healthcare experts.

Mackay said: “This is for women and medical professionals who have endured protests amid disgraceful scenes in the past while accessing health care, and for all those who may need to go do so in the future. It also carves into history the work and support of others including Back Off Scotland, health organisations and unions including the STUC Women’s Committee, BPAS, and so many more, and trailblazing Irish Green Clare Bailey.

“Without their determination, support and courage that day may never have come. The fact that it has is a testament to all of those MSPs who voted for it to pass, the work of Scottish Government officials, and the importance of this parliament. They all deserve our thanks.

“Today’s vote means never again should a woman have to be stripped of her dignity, privacy or emotion in opting to have an abortion. It enshrines her right to do so, and to do so without fear or intimidation. A woman’s right to decide what happens to her body is no-one else’s business but her own and that is the message being sent loud and clear across Scotland tonight.”