Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

Abortion Rights condemns 40 days for life actions in Scotland

05/02/16

STARTS

The Abortion Rights Committee Scotland (part of Abortion Rights UK) will be at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday February 9th 12 -1pm to speak up for women’s rights on access to abortion. Abortion Rights believes that women should be able to choose whether to continue with a pregnancy, and the prospect of devolution of abortion law to the Scottish Parliament must not be used to attack women’s rights.

The prospect of the anti-abortion group ’40 Days for Life’ bringing its message to the streets of Glasgow, is serious cause for concern.  With reports initially suggesting permission had been given for protests near NHS premises, Abortion Rights welcomed the subsequent assurances given by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that no such permission had been given and that steps will be taken to ensure that staff and patients must not be harassed by protestors.

Denise Christie, speaking for Abortion Rights Committee Scotland ‘The Scottish Government has made clear that abortion services are provided here within the terms of the 1967 Act, and there is no intention to reduce access or restrict women’s choices on this crucial issue. The NHS has made clear it has a duty of care for its patients and staff and this must include nobody is subjected to harassment when going to work or when accessing services’

Kerry Abel, Chair of Abortion Rights, says: “Women should be able to freely access this legal and safe service without fear of harassment and intimidation. Based on past experience we would be concerned that these actions by ‘40 days for Life’ will certainly obstruct women’s access.”

This Lent, from February 10 to March 20, ‘40 days for life’ has announced its intention to perform ‘prayer vigils’ outside Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. This group is also responsible for distributing misleading and medically inaccurate leaflets to women. They direct women to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are organisations that try and deter women from seeking abortions. Moreover, not only are ‘40 days for life’ anti-choice, they also oppose all contraceptive use. Internationally, 40 Days for Life make clear their intention to close down abortion clinics.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Representatives from Abortion Rights and a number of other supporting organisations will be at the Scottish Parliament from 12 noon – 13.30 on Tuesday 9th All political parties have been invited to send a representative to speak in support of women’s rights, and all MSPs will be asked to attend.
  2. Media contact for photographs and interviews Denise Christie (02079239792)
  1. Abortion Rights is the national pro-choice campaign, working to defend and extend abortion rights and provide a pro-choice voice to the media. Since 1967 the Abortion Act has enabled women to access abortions in England, Wales and Scotland. One in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.
  2. More than 75% of Scots are in favour of supporting abortion. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/family-relationships/scots-back-womens-right-choose-6154265
  3. For further information please see the following articles: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14209093.First_US_style_anti_abortion_protests_in_Scotland_to_target_Glasgow_s_new_super_hospital/  http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14210797.Rosemary_Goring__Anti_abortionists_have_no_right_to_picket_our_hospitals/
  4. Abortion Rights has a Scottish Committee and local groups around Scotland. http://www.abortionrights.org.uk/category/local-groups/abortion-rights-committee-scotland/