WATCH: Roddick stands firm on the need for national implementation of “buffer zones”

Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick has voiced her support for protest-free buffer zones around clinics that provide abortion services in Scotland.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 4th November, Roddick said she had been disturbed to read accounts by members of Back Off Scotland, an organisation campaigning for these buffer zones, who had faced intimidation and harassment from protesters while attempting to access reproductive healthcare.

Roddick said:

“Abortion is a legally protected procedure in Scotland. People must be able to exercise their right to healthcare and bodily autonomy and they should be able to do so without the threat of harassment or abuse – a hospital is a place of care, not a place for politics. You have all the rights in the world to protest government policy – but you do not have a right to intimidate women and other people exercising their legal rights in a medical establishment.

“It is disappointing that some of my parliamentary colleagues have attempted to hijack the debate in Holyrood for their own ends, to remind us that they continue to desire to control our bodies. There is a difference between exercising personal freedom and restricting the ability of others to do the same, and I will continue to campaign to defend our hard-won right to bodily autonomy.”

You can watch the full contribution below: