On 29 January 2022 the Back Off Scotland group posted a tweet showing a group of men holding pictures of unborn children. The image is not clear but the pictures appear to show unborn children at different gestations before and after an abortion procedure.
The group are stood in front of a small hedge and, behind this, a brown tiled building with white cladding and grey windows and doors. The location is not identified.
The Back Off Group tweet states that “These men are trying to distress people seeking abortions, not change legislation.”
Gillian McKay MSP references this tweet in the Consultation document on her proposed Bill and states that this is “first hand evidence” of “posters and graphic images” and “The decision to stand outside clinics is linked by them to their desire not to change the law, but to approach individual service users who are in the process of making decisions about their healthcare and deter or dissuade them from accessing abortion services.” (consultation page 7 and https://www.bufferzones.scot/info )
The picture seems to have been taken at the Wolfson Medical School Building, University Ave, Glasgow G12 8QQ. This picture, from Google Maps, in July 2021, shows several identical features including the brown tiling, grey windows and door, and the white cladding. Both pictures show a light above the door and what may be a white alarm box on the brown tiling. There are 3 steps up to the door in both pictures.
The Wolfson Building houses the University of Glasgow Medical School providing “a hub for medical/biomedical teaching and research.” No abortions are carried out in this building or in any building at the University of Glasgow.
It seems likely that Back Off Scotland, knew the actual location of the picture although it was not given in their tweet. Other Back Off pictures have identified locations including this one at Edinburgh’s Chalmers clinic or this at Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Back Off have history of false claims in Glasgow including spokesperson Lily Roberts’ incorrect account that she met 15-20 people at 7am and had to “walk through” a “full picket line.”
The group with posters were not trying to “distress people seeking abortions” and were not standing outside an abortion clinic.
The posters do seem to be realistic and bloody depictions of abortion but, outside a medical school where students will be familiar to pictures of operations, amputations and serious injuries, this is not inappropriate or out of context.
If Back Off Scotland or Gillian McKay MSP wish to ban all public events which oppose abortion this is an expansion of the terms of her Bill and the aims of the Back Off campaign.
The tweet lacks context and the picture is MISLEADING