THE SNP is to debate a motion on abortion at the party’s conference next month.

It calls for the party to affirm access to abortion a “fundamental human right”.

And it wants proposed buffer zones legislation enacted to remove anti-abortion protesters from outside healthcare facilities.

Gillian Mackay, Green MSP, has a bill before Holyrood to bring in buffer zones of 150 metres, which is supported by the Scottish Government making it likely to be passed.

The conference motion also calls for abortion to be available in Scotland in the later weeks of the legal limit, which is up to 24-weeks of pregnancy.

Currently, it is reported, no health board offers abortion out to the legal limit of 24-weeks, and in some it is far lower, with eight health boards having an 18-week limit, four at 20-weeks and one at 15-weeks.

The motion wants to confirm SNP policy on abortion and ensure services are more widely available.

The motion states: “Make the availability of home abortion services, implemented during the pandemic, a permanently available service and ensure this service is available and equally accessible across all health board areas in Scotland.”

It also asks to “immediately begin the process of commissioning a specialist provision and recruiting and training staff to provide specialist services for legal, later-term abortions up to 24-weeks in Scotland. This would end the need for women, in this difficult position, to have to travel to England to receive services".

The motion has been supported by a number of SNP branches including Glasgow Provan and Glasgow Shettleston.

The motion is at odds with the MSP for Shettleston, John Mason, who has been outspoken in his opposition to buffer zones and his pro-life view on abortion.

In an interview with the Glasgow Times earlier this month, he said: “The actual question of abortion, the key question, is when does life start? Does life start at birth or 24-weeks or does it start at conception?

“I’m convinced the science says life begins at conception, so my actual decision on that is based on that kind of evidence that I’ve heard - how young can a baby feel pain, when can you recognise its feet, just all these kinds of things.”

The motion will be debated on the opening day of the SNP conference in Aberdeen next month.