The Bill to prevent anti abortion protests directly outside hospitals and clinics has been passed overwhelmingly by MSPs.

The Abortion Services Safe Access Zones (Scotland) Bill was agreed by 118 votes to 1 at Holyrood.

Gillian Mackay, Green MSP who published the bill said it was a “loud and clear” message to protesters that a woman’s right to chose is no-one elses business.

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.”

She praised the work of campaign groups including Back off Scotland and STUC Women’s committee who had worked to give the bill support.

Mackay added: “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.”

The passing of the new law means it will be illegal for protests like those that regularly occurred outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Royal Infirmary and the Sandyford Clinic, to take place.

The law does not ban protests but establishes a 200-metre wide exclusion zones outside healthcare facilities.

The protesters had said they were involved in a prayer vigil and not a political protest.