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Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Consultation Receives 12,000 Responses

A consultation on the introduction buffer zones around abortion clinics closed after receiving over 12,000 responses.

Public opinions were sought after Scottish Green MSP Gillian Mackay launched a private member’s bill in May to protect women’s access to health services.

The proposed Abortion Services Safe Access Zones (Scotland) Bill would establish a 150m buffer zone around hospitals and clinics following a series of anti-abortion protests in recent months .

Clinicians working in hospitals said they were unable to work in certain areas of their clinics due to disruption caused by the protests, while service users were reportedly intimidated.

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Responses from the public and organizations will now be analyzed before the Bill goes to the Scottish Parliament.

Ms Mackay said: ‘No one should be intimidated or harassed when accessing health care.

“I am grateful to everyone who took the time to share their views on my bill.

“I understand that the length of the parliamentary process can be frustrating, but consultation is an essential part of this process and I am confident that these answers will help me craft the strongest bill possible.

“My team has already started to analyze the responses and I will work with parliamentary officials and MSPs across Parliament to move my proposals forward as quickly as possible.”

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Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon previously backed the bill after chairing an emergency summit on the issue, but she acknowledged the legislation would entail legal complexities.

It comes after protests have taken place outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the city’s Sandyford Clinic in recent months.

People outside have said they are holding prayer vigils not protests and claim they are there to provide an alternative for women.

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