SNP MSP accused of 'hijacking' baby-loss memorial with anti-abortion motion
THE SNP's John Mason has been accused of "hijacking" plans for a new Baby Loss Memorial Book.
The Glasgow Shettleston MSP has tabled a motion in parliament welcoming the proposal but called for "more equality for all unborn babies in the future” and compared miscarriage and premature death to abortion.
Labour's Monica Lennon said Mr Mason was trying to "undermine abortion rights."
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for the book last week. Anyone who has experienced a pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks will be able to apply for a commemorative certificate, have their child included in the book.
The outgoing SNP leader has spoken in the past about her own personal experience of miscarriage. She said she hoped the book would "bring comfort to those experiencing the pain of baby loss" and "help break the silence and stigma around the loss of a pregnancy or a baby that sadly still exists in our society”.
READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon announces new Memorial Book for those who suffer pregnancy loss
In his motion, Mr Mason states: “That the Parliament notes and welcomes the launch of a Baby Loss Memorial Book to mark a pregnancy or baby loss prior to 24 weeks; believes, however, that, in the case of abortion, some people do not consider that a baby is a baby prior to 24 weeks and use terms such as foetus, rather than baby; considers that it is a tragedy when any baby loses its life before birth, whether because of miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or abortion, and hopes for what it sees as more equality for all unborn babies in the future.”
Ms Lennon told the Daily Record: “Anti-choice campaigners will take every opportunity to undermine abortion rights, and this parliamentary motion from the SNP’s John Mason is the latest example.
"Access to safe and legal abortion must be protected in Scotland. The alternative is unsafe abortion. There are MSPs who would roll back these rights give the opportunity.
She added: “The campaign for the Baby Loss Memorial Book announced by Nicola Sturgeon was led by women who have experienced miscarriage. It is disgraceful that Mr Mason is hijacking this as a platform for his anti-abortion stance.”
READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: I attended memorial service ‘while still having a miscarriage’
SNP Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes tweeted: "I won't post the motion, But John Mason's attempt to use the very humane move of introducing a Baby Loss Book to reinforce his (completely out of step with society) views on abortion is an absolute disgrace that will cause harm.
"Abortions are healthcare. Our bodies, our choice."
Mr Mason's motion has so far been backed by just Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour.