Catholics are being urged to respond to a proposed bill that would criminalise silent prayer vigils and offers of help near abortion centres.

Gillian Mackay MSP has published the Bill to introduce ‘safe access zones’, or buffer zones, around abortion centres in Scotland.

The offences under the proposed Bill would make it illegal to offer women help and will criminalise prayer, including audible prayer and silent vigils. In England, Catholics have already been arrested for praying silently under similar laws to those being proposed in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament has asked for evidence and it is important that as many people as possible respond to the Consultation.

Anthony Horan, director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said: "We need people to do two things in response to this proposed Bill: These are:

  • Engage with the Scottish Parliament’s call for evidence on the Bill. There are two ways to do this. You can complete a short survey, or a slightly longer, more detailed, survey. The deadline for responses to the call for evidence is 20 December.
  • Write to your MSP to warn them about the dangers of the Bill, particularly the threat to the freedom to pray, free expression and freedom of assembly.

"To make things as easy as possible for you we have put together an online resource, which provides guidance on engaging with the call for evidence and writing to your MSPs." 

You can access the online resource here. For a PDF version of the briefing on the Bill click here.

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