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Bills and Laws

Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill

This Member’s Bill has been introduced by Gillian Mackay MSP. It creates safe access zones around all places providing abortion services in Scotland. 

The Bill is at Stage 1


Contents


Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill and gather views. They produce reports before MSPs debate the Bill in the Chamber. MSPs then decide on the purpose (“general principles”) of the Bill.

The Bill is at Stage 1

Committee Examination

The lead committee for this Bill is the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee

Find out more about this committee

Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s approach to scrutiny of the Bill

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee agreed its approach to scrutiny of the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill at Stage 1, at its meeting on 24 October 2023. 

The Committee's programme of evidence for the Bill can be found in the Engagement tab.

Further information on the Committee’s approach to scrutiny in relation to this Bill and how it will handle information can be found in its Written statement on the handling of information and evidence.

For more information or queries regarding the Committee's scrutiny of the Bill, please contact the Clerks to the Committee at [email protected].

Submit your views

The Committee issued two calls for evidence which were open for submissions between 27 October 2023 and 20 December 2023.

Read the published submissions here.

Read the summary of evidence from the detailed call for views

Read the summary of evidence from the short survey responses

Timetable

The timetable that the committee followed while examining the Bill at Stage 1

Stage 1 deadline

On 8 November 2023, Parliament agreed motion S6M-11144, that consideration of the Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill at stage 1 be completed by 3 May 2024.

Who spoke to the lead committee in the Parliament

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Meeting on 27 February 2024
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Meeting on 5 March 2024
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Meeting on 12 March 2024
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Meeting on 19 March 2024
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Engagement

Other ways the committee heard views and experiences

The Committee agreed the following programme of evidence at its meeting on Tuesday 16 January 2024.

Tuesday 27 February 2024

  • Introduction by the Scottish Government Bill team (in private)
  • International comparative research
  • Impact on those accessing abortion services

Tuesday 5 March 2024

  • Impact on those providing abortion services
  • Impact on those who will be responsible for enforcement, and management, of safe access zones

Tuesday 12 March 2024

  • Impact on those who are against the introduction of safe access zones
  • Human rights considerations

Tuesday 19 March 2024

  • The Scottish Government
  • The Member in charge of the Bill

The Committee undertook informal engagement with those who may be directly affected by the Bill, including individuals who support, and individuals who oppose, the introduction of safe access zones.

26 February 2024 - Impact on those accessing abortion services

5 March 2024 - Impact on those who are against the introduction of safe access zones

Commissioned Research

The Committee commissioned research on comparable legislation and its implementation worldwide.

Correspondence

Committee correspondence sent and received while the Bill progressed through Parliament

Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill Minister follow up

Letter from the Minister for Public Health and Women's Health following her giving evidence on 19 March, 26 March 2024

Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill Police Scotland follow up

Letter from Police Scotland following their giving evidence on 5 March, 26 March 2024

Abortion Services (Safe Access Zones) (Scotland) Bill follow up letter to Minister PHWH

Letter from the HSCS Convener to the Minister for Public Health and Women's Health following her giving evidence on 19 March, 20 March 2024

Read all the correspondence received on this Bill

Work by other committees

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

Meeting on 12 December 2023

Report published on 20 December 2023

Finance and Public Administration Committee

Scrutiny of the Financial Memorandum

Committee report

The lead committee will publish its stage 1 report before the debate on the general principles.