I am pleased to report that the Women’s Health Minister, Maree Todd, visited the Sandyford Clinic and Queen Elizabeth Hospital today to meet staff providing abortion healthcare.

I welcome her statement as follows:

‘Women must have the right to access abortion without fear or intimidation. And it goes without saying that the same goes for healthcare staff doing their job.

‘Today (Thursday 26th) I spoke to staff at Sandyford clinic in Glasgow who have had to work in the shadow of two recent protests and heard from them and also staff at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital about the damaging impact it can have. We’ve said repeatedly that the place to protest is at Parliament where the legislation is made, not where people are receiving health care.

‘We strongly support the introduction of buffer zones, welcome Gillian Mackay MSP’s Bill consultation and will continue to explore how the Scottish Parliament can legislate in a way that is effective and capable of withstanding legal challenge.

‘Alongside this, the Scottish Government continues to work to make arrangements for a First Minister convened summit at the end of June to discuss abortion rights issues.’

I wholeheartedly endorse this approach from the Scottish Government and will work with them to progress this issue.