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Anti-abortion demonstration sparks controversy

‘40 Days for Life’ plans to hold a vigil outside Aberdeen’s Maternity Care Centre has drawn accusations of intimidation


By Olivia Mackenzie Smith


Courtesy of mspark0 via Pixabay


The proposed prayer vigil which would take place outside the hospital between March and April.


The group 40 Days for Life is a religious organisation based in America and opposed to abortion and has held similar demonstrations which NHS Grampian has described as “peaceful”.


They demonstrate their beliefs by praying and fasting outside “abortion businesses”.

The group ‘Back Off Scotland’ has started a petition calling for 150 metre buffer zones to be introduced in clinics that provide services to terminate pregnancy.


The petition website says that “the right to privacy and the right to access legal, essential medical services should be protected, not threatened by anti-choice activity.”


When approached for a comment; Lucy Grieve, co-founder of Back Off Scotland shared that:


“We’re concerned to see that anti-choice activity is set to return to Aberdeen Maternity Hospital. Abortion is a legal healthcare procedure and protests taking place at healthcare facilities are wholly inappropriate.

“We’ve received so many messages from women across Scotland who have faced harassment first-hand. From a university student seeking an abortion after her pill failed; to a teenager who had been sexually assaulted and required sexual healthcare from a clinic… to doctors that perform abortions themselves; the stories were endless and wide reaching.


“Our message is simple and clear. The Scottish Government needs to do the right thing. They must take ownership of their responsibility and implement buffer zones nationally to protect our legal right to accessing healthcare.”


An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: "This campaign group have previously staged peaceful protests on public land, outside the boundaries of the Foresterhill Health Campus. They have not impacted on the running of any of our services."


40 Days for Life has also been approached for a comment but has not responded to The Gaudie.