Press and Media

Buffer Zone Bill introduced – Concerns raised

Today sees the publication of Gillian Mackay’s long-awaited Bill to restrict those with profoundly held beliefs from engaging in consensual conversation, or even praying, within 200 meters of an abortion facility.  This has caused concern among many groups that believe that abortion harms women, and that the unborn child has a right to life – and also among freedom of speech campaigners.

Shona Haslam Chief Executive of Logos Scotland comments “While we understand and appreciate the sentiment behind this Bill and the need to ensure that no woman ever feels subjected to harassment, which is already illegal – especially when facing an already-traumatising experience, we raise concerns about the implications that this Bill has on freedom of speech, thought and freedom of religion.  Of course, it is never acceptable to intimidate or harass women who are going through an incredibly difficult time, but neither is it right to criminalise those who are simply praying or offering charitable support services outside of these clinics.  We have seen cases in other areas where individuals who are silently praying on pavements have been arrested by the police for what could be considered a “thoughtcrime”.  We urge legislators to ensure proportionality and balance when considering all of those involved in this incredibly difficult issue. This is not an easy task and I look forward to the debate in Parliament, we will be discussing these concerns with MSPs as they consider these questions.”

Closed Doors, Open Communities
• Logos Scotland calls on Scottish Government to introduce a Faith Commissioner
• Covid showed that faith leaders must be designated as key workers
In this first report from Logos Scotland, we highlight the role of faith communities during the Covid
pandemic, calling on the Scottish Government to consider introducing a Faith Commissioner in Scotland as
well as designating faith leaders as key workers.
Throughout the Covid pandemic churches and faith communities were central to the delivery of essential
services – studies have shown that 87% of churches contacted isolated and vulnerable people, 73%
provided pastoral support, 53% assisted with shopping and 66% offered telephone befriending schemes.
Over 90 % (91%) of local authorities, many of whom started working with churches for the first time.
said that that their experience of partnership was very positive or positive and 76% expect that those
relationships will now continue.