Scotland’s abortion censorship zones are ‘unnecessary’, says RC Church

Proposals to introduce censorship zones around abortion centres in Scotland are “unnecessary”,  the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has explained.

Scottish Green Party MSP Gillian Mackay has introduced a Private Member’s Bill intended to block any “protests” within 200 metres of abortion centres. She recently blasted prayer vigils as “targeted intimidation and harassment”.

Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, said such claims were simply a “convenient narrative being written by those in favour of the establishment of blanket buffer zones around abortion centres in Scotland”.

Alternative reality

The new Scottish Health Secretary, Neil Gray, called prayer vigils near clinics, “unacceptable” and expressed his hope that legislation would be passed quickly to prevent prayer and offers of help to vulnerable women within the zones.

Mr Gray said that the Scottish Government were “very supportive” of Mackay’s bill, adding: “We want to see it move through parliament as quickly as possible”.

In a letter to The Herald, Mr Horan said the “reality” of what was happening outside abortion centres was “very different” to the pro-abortion propaganda.

“They are peaceful vigils, consisting mostly of women, standing quietly praying at a reasonable distance from the main entrance to hospitals and clinics.”


Horan noted that in its submission to Parliament on the issue, Scotland’s police force stated that “existing powers and offences (whether statutory or at common law) are sufficient to address any unlawful behaviour in the vicinity of health care premises”.

“Presumably, Police Scotland is referring to legislation such as section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, which already makes it illegal to engage in behaviour which causes harassment, alarm, or distress to others.”

He concluded: “This law may be being brought forward with the best of intentions, but it is unnecessary”.

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