Abortion Rights Blog

The national pro-choice campaign

MSP John Mason lodges motion calling for the Scottish Parliament to “restrict” abortion

SNP MSP John Mason lodges motion at Holyrood calling for the Scottish Parliament to “restrict” abortion.

Abortion Rights’ Scotland is bitterly disappointed that Mason is attempting to use the victory of decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales as an excuse to reduce the time limit in Scotland.

Jillian Merchant of Abortion Rights Scotland said, “The last thing women in Scotland need is more restrictions over what happens to their own bodies. What we need is to change the culture of stigma and discrimination, and campaign for the implementations of abortion provision, in Scotland, up to the time limit”. 

Scottish women already face significant barriers to accessing abortion in Scotland, despite the UK’s 24-week limit. Abortions after 18-20 weeks are typically not provided in Scotland meaning women have to travel to England to access healthcare procedures.

Lowering the abortion time limit would not remove the need for abortion, but would simply put more distressing barriers in the way.

Not only is Mason out of step with pro-choice majority in Scotland

According to the Daily RecordMore than 75% of Scots are in favour of supporting abortion. 

but the wording of his motion is offensive.  The term ‘Both Lives Matter’ represents the latest attempt by a regressive, oppressive group of anti choicers to cynically co-opt the anti-racist Black Lives Matter movement’s neat turn of phrase to protect and promote restricting access to health care.

Mason has a long record on sparking controversy on the issue of abortion. In 2015 John Mason MSP (SNP) lodged a motion attempting to slash time limits.

This motion comes in a week where another male SNP MSP, Cabinet Minister, Mike Russell suggested that abortion may be an issue for which a referendum might be appropriate.