Clinic consultation

Abortion in Scotland: Clinic buffer zones backed by vast majority of Scots, poll finds

The poll, carried out on Sunday by Savanta ComRes for Scotland, surveyed 1,029 Scottish adults between June 23 and 28.

The results showed that half of all Scots (50%) supported their introduction ‘strongly’, with a further 18% supporting them ‘somewhat’.

Only 8% said they opposed the introduction of buffer zones, with 17% saying they had no opinion and 7% saying they didn’t know.

Register to our daily newsletter

Read more

Read more

Abortion clinic buffer zones in Scotland strike the right balance between freedom of…

The figures come after Nicola Sturgeon called a summit last Monday on the subject, where she pledged to legislate the introduction of buffer zones across Scotland.

Scottish Green MSP and Health Spokesperson Gillian Mackay consults with her members on the Bill which, if passed, would see legislation enacted for 150m buffer zones around abortion clinics.

It is highly likely that this bill will pass at Holyrood with the support of the SNP.

40 Days For Life hold a prayer vigil outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. Photo: John Devlin/National World

Reacting to the polling figures, Ms Mackay said: ‘When I launched the Safe Access Zones Bill last month, it was on the principle that no one should be harassed or intimidated when seeking to get treatment. It is fantastic to see that this principle has such overwhelming public support.

“There has been a growing campaign of harassment and intimidation outside abortion clinics, causing distress to both patients and healthcare professionals. People have been filmed coming in and out, they were insulted by loudspeakers and, in one case, clinicians had to move clinics to other parts of the building.

“It’s obviously unacceptable and that’s what I’m working hard to end as soon as possible.”

A Scottish government spokesman said the abortion care summit agreed that short-term options should be considered while the legislation is being developed.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon speaks at an abortion care summit held at the Hilton Edinburgh Carlton Hotel, Edinburgh

The spokesperson added: “We therefore continue to encourage local authorities to use regulations to establish safe zones and we are committed to continuing to work with Cosla and local authorities to make progress.

“Following this week’s summit, the Scottish Government and local government are committed to convening further discussions on how best to move forward.”

Want to know more about The Scotsman’s political team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.