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Anti-abortion protestors 'harass women' attending Glasgow health clinic

By Kaitlin Easton

Anti-abortion protestors have been accused of harassing women as they stood outside a health clinic, leaving patients distressed.

Two men were filmed outside of Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow this afternoon, holding signs and speaking through a microphone.

Staff at the centre were forced to move their cars and play music in a desperate bid to drown out the shouting protestors.

Campaigners and MSPs have slammed the scenes, as they renewed urgent calls for emergency buffer zone legislation.

The men's signs include the words "abortion is murder", as well as excerpts from the bible.

Police Scotland attended the incident but campaigners claim officers informed them they would not be able to intervene.

The men held signs and shouted outside of Sandyford Clinic (@pickle_bee)

Back Off Scotland have been calling 150m buffer zones around clinics that provide abortion services in Scotland since 2020.

A spokesperson for the group told the Record: “We are appalled and devastated to see the scenes outside Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow today.

"Sandyford delivers a large range of reproductive and sexual health services including rape crisis support and counselling.

Police Scotland speaking to the anti-abortion protestors (@pickle_bee)

"We’ve been told by staff inside the clinic that patients are distressed and they are unable to consult on that side of the building because the shouting is so loud.

"Clinicians have had to stop what they are doing to move their cars outside the clinic, open car windows and blast music in an attempt to drown the shouting out.

"Nicola Sturgeon and Maree Todd must come in front of parliament this week and lay out their intentions to enact emergency legislation to tackle the issue in the short term. This can go on no longer.”

Monica Lennon MSP added: "The scenes at the Sandyford Clinic are chilling and dangerous.

“Vulnerable rape survivors should be able to access healthcare without being confronted by anti-abortion activists.

Police Scotland officers at the scene (@pickle_bee)

“The anti-abortion lobby is out of control in Scotland to the detriment of women and people needing healthcare, as well as the staff who are simply doing their jobs.

“The Scottish Government and Police Scotland must take action.”

Gillian Mackay MSP has introduced a member's bill to bring in national buffer zone laws, which is expected to move to the public consultation stage next month.

She tweeted: "I've contacted @PoliceScotland to ask why such a noisy protest outside a healthcare facility was allowed to go on for so long.

"The lack of action shows the urgent need for legislation to combat this harassment, that's why I'm bringing forward my Bill."

The shocking protest comes after numerous campaigns outside of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow by American organisation 40 Days For Life.

Scottish organiser Rose Doherty revealed to a clinician at the hospital that the group would continue to attend the hopsital every single Tuesday after a 40-day "prayer vigil" that sparked outrage.

Some of the protestors outside of Sandyford Clinic are understood to have left the scene shortly before 5pm but police remain in attendance.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 1.55pm on Wednesday, 11 May, 2022, officers attended following reports of a protest on Sandyford Place in Glasgow. Some of the group has dispersed and officers remain at the scene.

“Police Scotland is a rights-based organisation that puts our values of integrity, fairness, respect and a commitment to upholding human rights at the heart of everything we do.

“We have a duty under the European Convention on Human Rights to protect the rights of people who wish to peacefully protest or counter-protest balanced against the rights of the wider community.”

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Dive Deeper:
Glasgow Sandyford sexual health clinic targeted by anti-abortion protestors
Anti-abortion protestors left patients accessing vital sexual and reproductive health care services in 'tears' by holding a demonstration outside the…
Humza Yousaf brands protests outside Scottish abortion clinics 'a disgrace'
The health secretary insisted the place for protest was outside parliament and not abortion clinics.
It’s not just the US, Britain needs no-protest buffer zones around its abortion clinics too
Women seeking legal healthcare in the UK also suffer harassment. They should be able to claim that right without fear,…
Women's rights in Scotland need bold action amid anti-abortion protests
The Record View says that protestors have no right to interfere with women's health.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Edinburgh pro-choice rally to take place outside American consulate
The rally will take place on Regent Terrace at 2:00pm and will see pro-choice demonstrator shows their solidarity with their…
Nicola Sturgeon slaps down SNP MSP John Mason over "wrong" abortion comments
Mason was blasted for suggesting clinics “push abortion without laying out the pros and cons”.
Get all your news in one place