STUC 2023 – Protecting women’s right to choose

Congress overwhelmingly supported Gillian Mackay, MSP’s Members Bill calling for the introduction of buffer zones outside health care centres offering abortion services.

The motion from the University and College Union Scotland highlighted the need to protect women accessing services to which they have a legal right.

However, it also warned that the welcome restrictions that would be brought in by the bill should not be extended to wider action by unions in support of industrial disputes. It therefore called for trade union activity to be specifically excluded from the scope of the bill.

Supporting the motion, UNISON’s Brenda Aitchison said that as a union with one million women members it would be totally remiss of us not to lend our full support to this motion.

“All women should be free from harassment and intimidation whilst accessing health services.”

She added that UNISON’s National Women’s Conference had also debated a motion on buffer zones, which Scottish delegates had amended to reflect what is going on in Scotland and which was passed unanimously.

“Our bodies, our choices, free from harassment,” urged Brenda.