Anti-social behaviour laws should be used to stop anti-abortion campaigners intimidating women outside hospitals and health clinics, a Labour MSP has said.

Men and women have been protesting by holding ‘vigils’ outside hospitals including the Royal Infirmary and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Also, a small number of men have been making their presence felt outside the Sandyford Clinic in Sauchiehall Street.  

Two men have been seen holding placards including with bible quotations and protesting using a loudspeaker.

READ MORE:Nicola Sturgeon to chair summit on abortion and condemns protests in Glasgow

Earlier this month they were moved on after counter-protesters forced them to leave.

Carole Mochan, Labour MSP, asked the Scottish Government what discussions justice ministers have had regarding using anti-social behaviour laws to prevent people carrying out intimidating protests outside abortion clinics.

Ash Regan, community safety minister, said the buffer zones working group was looking at all the legislation that could be used, including anti-social behaviour laws.

She said individual incidents were a matter for Police Scotland, who she said would take proportionate action.

READ MORE: Anti-abortion preachers target Glasgow's Sandyford clinic

Mochan quoted from the anti-social behaviour laws which she said states an offence is behaviour by someone which “causes, or is likely to cause, alarm or distress to at least one person not as the same household as them".

She said: “In what sense in deliberately seeking to scare or intimidate a woman simply pursuing the healthcare she is entitled to, not anti-social?

“Why can’t these laws not be used now?”

Regan said: “There is no place in our society for the harassment and abuse and intimidation of women and girls accessing healthcare services.”

She added Police Scotland, Cosla and health boards are involved in the working group set up by the Scottish Government which was looking at short, medium and long-term solutions to the issue.

Regan said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would chair a summit on the protests and buffer zones next week on June 27.

She added that “it is important that any action taken is proportionate balancing everyone’s rights under the European convention on human rights".