Scotland Plans to Introduce Censorship Zones and Changes in Abortion Law

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: August 30, 2021

The Scottish government has recently proposed to create censorship zones outside abortion clinics. These plans are being pushed despite a poll showing that only 21% of the UK population supports the introduction of "censorship zones", while many people in and outside the pro-life movement denounce the risk of censorship zones as a threat to free speech. Other planned changes are increasing the number of hospitals and clinics required to provide late-term abortions and removing in-person consultations prior to the medical procedure, which makes it difficult to assess if a person is seeking an abortion due to abuse or coercion.

The SNP Scottish Government has released its "WOMEN'S HEALTH PLAN“ for 2021-2024. Proposals:

-Prioritise increasing “access to abortion services” throughout Scotland. That means an increase in the number of abortion clinics and hospitals that provide late-term abortions.

-Expand provision of abortions for non-medical reasons beyond 18-20 weeks gestation, as Scottish patients are usually referred to hospitals in England for these procedures.

-Removal of the need for an in-person consultation prior to medical abortion as an action point. A step that can be fundamental to ascertain if abuse or coercion is involved.

-Collaboration with NHS Scotland, Local Authorities, Justice agencies, and the Scottish Government to curb the ability of pro-life demonstrations or help services to operate outside abortion clinics.

Nonetheless, it is at least positive that the "Opposition to censorship zones extends beyond pro-life advocates to unite a large part of society who may not agree with the pro-life position on abortion but who oppose censorship zones as a threat to freedom of speech. A poll released in June this year showed that only 21 % of the UK population support the introduction of nationwide ‘censorship zones’ around abortion clinics. Despite supporting abortion, a number of prominent human rights groups and campaigners have spoken out against the introduction of censorship zones. These include Peter Tatchell, the Manifesto Club, Big Brother Watch, Index on Censorship and the Freedom Association." 

Thanks to many people praying and providing help and consolation outside abortion clinics, many women can now tell their stories.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson, said: “It is sad to see that, even after the second-highest ever a number of abortions on record taking place in Scotland last year, the Scottish Government seems bent on increasing the number of abortions even more – not to mention its plans to curb freedom of expression (...) Each life lost to abortion is a tragedy, and it is our duty to save lives, not attempt to end more”.


Source: Right to Life UK, Christian Today

Symbolic Photo: Oles kanebckuu en Pexels