Anti-abortion group plan a 40-day vigil in Glasgow

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

A controversial anti-abortion group are planning to hold a ‘vigil’ at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Forty Days for Life, who state they are the largest internationally coordinated pro-life organisation in history, claim to be “helping people in local communities end the injustice of abortion through peaceful vigil, prayer, fasting and a community outreach programme”.

The group also claims to have closed down 83 centres involved in providing women with medical intervention procedures.

Primarily US based, the group have been active in the UK for around six years.

Green council candidate for Govan, Allan Young, has spoken out against the group saying: “Their presence will no doubt cause distress and harm to women at an emotionally difficult time.

“The protest will also disrupt the vital work carried out by staff at a very busy hospital, and cause distress to other patients and visitors at the hospital.

Previous protests organised by the group have been associated with allegations of intimidation.

The prospective councillor added: “The right of women to choose must be protected.

“These protests seem to be part of a wider anti-abortion strategy which we must fight at every stage.”

Green Party spokesperson for health and social care Cass MacGregor added: “We consider that reproductive health services must be delivered on the basis that all people have the right to decide whether and how to control their own fertility.

“We believe that laws such as those in Northern Ireland which make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions simply increase the distress and health risks for those involved.

“We will continue to campaign to improve services, access and information regarding abortion for women in all areas of Scotland.”

A statement from Forty Days For Life read: “From March 1 to April 9, our community will take part in 40 Days for Life, a ground-breaking, coordinated international mobilisation.

“We pray that, with God’s help, this will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in Glasgow and beyond.”

Pro-choice groups opposed to the vigil say the protesters could cause distress to women attending the hospital’s gynaecological unit.

A spokesperson for Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS said: “No permission has been given for any gathering on the grounds of the QEUH. The vigil will be conducted outside hospital grounds to allow the hospital to function, and patients to attend, without disruption.”