LABOUR's Health spokeswoman has called for measures to improve a "woman's right to choose" as an SNP MSP called for restrictions on abortion.

John Mason, Shettleston SNP MSP, has lodged a motion calling on fellow MSPs to reduce the time limit at which abortion is permitted in Scotland.

Mr Mason said in the motion that premature babies are surviving at an earlier age then when the law was passed to make abortion legal.

He said he lodged the motion in response to a motion by Labour MSP Monica Lennon.

Ms Lennon, the party’s health spokeswoman, lodged a motion stating the Scottish Government should improve legal access to abortion.

She said the “two doctors” rule for approving abortion should be removed to “improve a woman’s right to choose” listing several organisations who supported greater freedoms, including Scottish Women’s Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland.

Ms Lennon said there are still criminal sanctions linked to abortion and she would like it completely decriminalised to allow it be a healthcare issue and not a criminal justice matter.

Ms Lennon said the two doctor rule can make it difficult for some women.

Mr Mason said the restrictions he wants are in relation to the time limit and for rules on disability to be looked at.

He said: “If she (Ms Lennon) is calling for greater liberalisation then I think greater restrictions are needed.

“When the law was brought in babies were not surviving at 24 weeks. As time goes by medical science improves. so to keep static there is an argument for reducing the time limit.”

He is aware he is out of step with the majority in the SNP on abortion.

However, he said: “ There are people on both sides.”

Ms Lennon added: "John Mason is basically calling for regressive measures while I am seeking progressive measures.”

In the motion entitled “both lives matter” Mr Mason, said: “The devolution of abortion law means the Scottish Parliament has the opportunity to improve the lives of unborn babies in Scotland.”

He added that a baby’s life does not begin at birth and that “it is now not unusual for a baby to survive if born under 24 weeks”.

The MSP said that from the “point of conception two lives are involved” and both woman and baby have a “fundamental right to bodily autonomy, health and proper medical care”.