Christian protest outside Glasgow hospital ‘borders on crime’
Scotland is currently lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to introducing buffer zones.
Last month the Commons voted to introduce the protest clearances in England and Wales, and last December the Supreme Court ruled that Northern Ireland could implement similar plans without encroaching on the rights of the EHRC.
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CONTINUE READING: Scotland’s deficit in 2023–24 has been revised from £9bn to closer to £18bn.
Protests always escalate over Lent, with the 40-day campaign calling on Christians to hold vigils and women to think about the procedure.
Photos shared online showed over a hundred gathered outside Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, most holding lanterns, some holding signs.
Ms Mackay is currently trying to get her Holyrood member’s bill establishing “safe access zones” across Holyrood. If passed, it would discourage protesters from demonstrating within 150m of a healthcare clinic. She said earlier this year she hoped to introduce the bill by the summer.
The Greens attacked the 40 Day protesters
She said: “If they thought this would help their cruel US-imported ideology, it backfired spectacularly. You just advocated accelerating the introduction of secure access zones.
“They have received support for my law over the past 24 hours with a barrage of messages to my office from people asking what help they can offer to speed up implementation.
“This is not about freedom of speech, this is absolutely about protecting the rights of women, to choose to be protected and to feel safe when accessing healthcare. It’s about helping staff and clinicians do their jobs without fear.
“The 40-day doctrine is contrary to this, it certainly borders on criminality and such displays must end. I hope it’s the last time people are forced to endure such repulsive scenes.
“I will be speaking to colleagues across the Scottish Parliament and to the Scottish Government to move my legislation forward as quickly as possible to ensure safe access zones are put in place as soon as possible.”
CONTINUE READING: More than £26million has been spent on staff at the NHS agency in three months
Lois McLatchie of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) told the BBC those standing at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital are offering “charitable aid”.
She also claimed Ms Mackay’s Safe Access Zones Bill would “censor” people who “pray quietly” outside of places where abortions are performed.
This was denied by Gemma Clark of the campaign group Back Off Scotland.
“I don’t think there are two sides to this debate and I’m not surprised to hear such a disingenuous response about a mob of 100 people demonstrating at a hospital last night,” she said.
“It’s totally inappropriate, and even if that only happens once a year, that’s no comfort to people who take their child to the ER, have a stillbirth or miscarry.”
“I’m not surprised to hear this from an ADF representative. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies this group as a homophobic hate group.
“Let’s be honest about who these people are. We’re talking about highly radicalized anti-abortion activists working for well-funded American organizations. This is about protecting women and vulnerable people.”
Ms McLatchie said she dismissed Clark’s “serious” allegations and claimed the Southern Poverty Law Center was a “discredited” group.
CONTINUE READING: Yousaf insists he has “very open doors” as First Minister
Asked if she thought it was appropriate for 100 people to protest outside the QEUH, she told BBC Radio Scotland: “The legislation going through the Scottish Parliament would be much more than banning harassment.
“It would even do for a person outside of an abortion facility to pray silently in their head.
“It’s not a mob, they’re praying. It is important that people have the freedom to pray in their heads.
“What I would agree with Gemma is that I am also against harassment of women in any circumstances and that is not what we are dealing with here. There are already laws in place to deal with harassment.
“What we’re talking about here is legislation that would go so far as to censor innocent people offering charitable aid.”
In response to calls for the bill to be rushed through Holyrood, First Minister Humza Yousaf told the BBC: “We will do everything we can to create safe access zones to our abortion clinics as soon as possible.
“I will be working with Gillian Mackay very early on in relation to safe entry zones but I have made it absolutely clear that I support her and I am genuinely disheartened to see these protests taking place at a time when women are potentially facing the most traumatic days of her life. That is not acceptable.”
https://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/23432289.christian-protest-outside-glasgow-hospital-borders-criminality/?ref=rss Christian protest outside Glasgow hospital ‘borders on crime’