THE MSP responsible for the abortion protest buffer zone bill has warned against any attempt to weaken it.

Gillian Mackay, Green MSP’s Safe Access Zones Bill is being considered at Holyrood by the Health Committee today.

Mackay said she will oppose any attempt to weaken the proposals that would ban protests or vigils within 200 metres of healthcare facilities.

The Bill passed stage one and going through stage two, where amendments from MSPs will be discussed and voted on by the committee.

Mackay, who will be speaking for and against amendments, has urged the committee to ensure the bill is as robust as possible and that there are no loopholes or exemptions that would allow protests to continue.

 She said: “We are at a crucial point in terms of introducing my bill and ending the terrible harassment we have seen outside hospitals and abortion service providers all across our country.

“It is really important that we make this the most robust bill it can be, and I am happy to meet with any MSP and to support any constructive amendments that will strengthen it and ensure greater protections.

 “I will oppose any proposals that will create loopholes and exemptions or allow the protests to continue. That’s not what I want from the bill, and it would be a betrayal of everyone who has had to pass a gauntlet of protesters to access healthcare.”

She said the aim is to ensure everyone has safe access to health care they are entitled to.

The MSP added she hoped the cross party support the Bill has enjoyed will continue.

The bill would ban the protests seen outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Sandyford clinic on Sauchiehall Street and force them to move from outside the premises.

Mackay added: “I am grateful to everyone who has done so much to get us this far, especially to people who shared very difficult stories with me in the hope that nobody else will have to endure what they did.”