Scottish Green councillors are supporting the call for ‘buffer zones’ around clinics that provide abortion services across Glasgow.

It is necessary to provide buffer zones to allow safe access to healthcare.

Green MSP Gillian Mackay has launched a consultation on her member’s bill, that if approved, would put in place 150m buffer zones around healthcare facilities that provide abortions.

The proposal for safe access zones would be introduced at all sites that provide abortion care and it would be unlawful to influence or attempt to influence a person from accessing, providing, or facilitating the provision of abortion care.

Protesters are running a campaign to stand outside abortion and sexual health clinics to make accessing these services even more difficult. 

These protests and the intimidation outside hospitals and abortion clinics are causing significant distress and anxiety to people using these services. 

There are wider implications for anyone who access healthcare at the premises that deliver abortions as they can also be targeted.

These protests affect people accessing rape counselling, sexual health services, and broader healthcare services that share the same facilities. We need to ensure that everyone’s right to access healthcare is unimpeded.

People should not be discouraged from attending medical appointments. 

The introduction of buffer zones will help people who need to access these services to do so without the fear of harassment.

There is a proven method of achieving this in Australia and Canada, as well as in some local authorities in England, where protest-free areas can ensure that services are not obstructed.

The number of anti-abortion protests are rising in Glasgow as highlighted by Green councillor Holly Bruce.

Recently, Glasgow was victim to over 100 anti-choice protesters standing outside the maternity ward at the QEUH.

The scale and frequency of these protests is increasing and Glasgow is seeing some of the largest gathered crowds across Scotland.

Green councillors will continue to work on cross-party basis to take forward plans for buffer zones and we will support discussions on the introduction of Glasgow as a ‘test council’ to implement 150m buffer zones to protect women from anti-abortion harassment.

Access to safe abortion services is a human right.

In line with the international human rights law and standards, everyone should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and have access to sexual and reproductive health services including safe abortion. 

We will support sexual and reproductive rights advocates and LGBTI rights activists who are campaigning for making abortion services available, accessible, and inclusive for everybody who needs it.

The decision of the Supreme Court to overturned Roe v Wade was a terrible step back for women’s rights and healthcare in the United States.

We can stand in solidarity with everyone who is having their reproductive rights removed.

Here in Glasgow, we must ensure that our healthcare services are safe, secure and accessible for all.

Nobody should be traumatised or intimidated when accessing healthcare. It is also vital that we never take our abortion rights or healthcare rights for granted.