Cartoon showing a group of people shouting with signs reading "decriminalise abortion," "safe access," and "abortion is healthcare."

Buffer zones bill passes final vote and will become law

June 12, 2024

Today, MSPs voted by an overwhelming majority of 118 to 1 to introduce buffer zones laws that will protect abortion service users from religiously motivated harassment. We are delighted that MSPs have voted in favour of Gillian Mackay MSP’s Abortion…

Buffer zones bill passes final vote and will become law
A row of anti-abortion protestors holding placards infront of some railings.

Wrecking amendments reintroduced ahead of final vote on buffer zones

June 5, 2024

Ahead of the final vote on the buffer zones bill next week, wrecking amendments have been reintroduced by Jeremy Balfour MSP. We urge MSPs to vote against them. On June 12 2024, MSPs will take part in the final vote…

Wrecking amendments reintroduced ahead of final vote on buffer zones
A group of anti-abortion protestors outside an abortion facility in Glasgow, holding signs.

Wrecking amendments to buffer zones bill withdrawn but questions remain over “chaplaincy services”

May 28, 2024

Today, Holyrood’s health committee considered amendments to Gillian Mackay’s buffer zones bill. Several wrecking amendments were withdrawn but discussions are ongoing about the provision of “chaplaincy services” at abortion facilities. Today, MSPs on Holyrood’s Health, Social Care, and Sport Committee…

Wrecking amendments to buffer zones bill withdrawn but questions remain over “chaplaincy services”
A row of anti-abortion protestors outside a hospital in Glasgow

MSPs must stop wrecking amendments to buffer zones bill

May 27, 2024

MSPs will soon debate amendments to Gillian Mackay’s buffer zones bill. Some of the amendments are designed to wreck the legislation. The committee must reject them. Health committee MSPs will meet on Tuesday 28 May to debate proposed changes to…

MSPs must stop wrecking amendments to buffer zones bill
Black and white picture of Dr Lynsey Mitchell standing in a street. Lynsey is wearing a leather jacket and looking at the camera and smiling.

Decriminalising abortion in Scotland: future-proofing Scots law

May 21, 2024

On the day Engender publishes a new report calling for decriminalisation of abortion, law lecturer Dr Lynsey Mitchell explores the history of abortion law in Scotland in a guest article for our news blog. The US Supreme Court’s decision to…

Decriminalising abortion in Scotland: future-proofing Scots law
An abortion rights rally in Belfast in 2012. Protestors carry signs bearing slogans such as "rich women have abortions, poor women have babies." "legalise not criminalise," and more.

What Scotland can learn from the Supreme Court ruling on Northern Ireland’s buffer zone law

April 30, 2024

With buffer zones legislation making its way through Holyrood, our Policy and Campaigns Officer Joe explores a recent court decision in Northern Ireland that could have significant implications for MSPs debating the new law in Scotland. This week, MSPs debated…

What Scotland can learn from the Supreme Court ruling on Northern Ireland’s buffer zone law
Gillian Mackay MSP speaks at a podium infront of a Humanist Society Scotland banner.

Humanist Society interview series: Gillian Mackay MSP on her buffer zones bill

April 29, 2024

This week sees the stage-one debate on buffer zones legislation in Scottish parliament. [NB. this vote passed by 123 votes to 1.] We caught up with Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay, who proposed the bill, to talk about why safe…

Humanist Society interview series: Gillian Mackay MSP on her buffer zones bill
An extremely long line of anti-abortion protestors outside a hospital holding candles, with a fence and trees behind them, pictured from across the road.

Health committee backs buffer zones but remains divided on “silent prayer”

April 23, 2024

This week Holyrood’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee published their stage-one report on the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) Bill. We are pleased the committee has backed buffer zones but concerned about a lack of clarity on the issue…

Health committee backs buffer zones but remains divided on “silent prayer”
A long line of people against a wire fence. Some hold candles. The fence is covered in placards which are mostly not legible but some of which read "Rights for Women" and similar. The photo is taken from across the road.

Huge anti-abortion protest marks final day of Lent, encouraged by Paisley Diocese

March 25, 2024

Around 100 anti-abortion protestors stood outside the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow on Sunday, holding placards and leaflets opposing abortion and offering ‘support’ to service users. In the days leading up to the event, the Paisley Diocese of the…

Huge anti-abortion protest marks final day of Lent, encouraged by Paisley Diocese
Bishop Keenan sits addressing the health committee. The screengrab shows him infront of a name holder wearing a dog collar and holding up a leaflet. There is a jug of water to the right. He has short grey hair and a reddish face.

Bishop describes anti-abortion leaflets full of misinformation as “factually accurate”

March 13, 2024

Bishop John Keenan has described leaflets riddled with misinformation, of the kind offered to people entering abortion centres, as “factually accurate,” during a bizarre performance in front of Holyrood’s health committee. Bishop Keenan also said the leaflets cited “the NHS…

Bishop describes anti-abortion leaflets full of misinformation as “factually accurate”
A portrait engraving of Frances Wright by John Chester Buttre. The image shows her with medium length curly hair, puffy sleeves and a waistcoat tucked into a belt tied tightly at her waist. She leans on a desk to her left and rests her face on her left hand.

Remembering Frances Wright on International Women’s Day

March 6, 2024

As we celebrate the cultural and political achievements of women around the world, here’s an introduction to the remarkable life and complex legacy of Fanny Wright, Scottish pioneer of feminism, anti-slavery, and secular thought. Who was Frances Wright? The Dundee-born…

Remembering Frances Wright on International Women’s Day