Was ‘Julia’ unable to use a disabled space?


On 17 October 2022 STV ran an article headlined: “Woman suffered panic attack when confronted by anti-abortion protesters” at Edinburgh’s Chalmers Clinic. STV reported that the patient, known as ‘Julia’ (name changed):

“….uses a mobility aid to walk and carries a blue badge, yet says she was unable to park in disabled bays due to the protesters using the area as a drop-off.

“Julia instead parked on a nearby street to avoid the group but became distressed and was triggered with an asthma attack which developed into a panic attack.”


NHS Lothian provides 2 disabled spaces at Chalmers which are accessed from the staff entrance, on Lauriston Place. Google Maps, below, shows the location of the disabled spaces as well as the public entrance to Chalmers, which is on Chalmers Street. All vigils at Chalmers take place on Chalmers Street, near the main public entrance.

The disabled parking spaces at Chalmers are behind a locked barrier, shown on Google Street View here:


‘Julia’ has a blue badge so she is entitled to use the disabled parking spaces provided by Chalmers. She uses a mobility aid so, once parked in one of these spaces, she would enter Chalmers by shortest route, which is the staff entrance. If she had entered by the staff entrance she would have been unable to see the vigil on Chalmers’ Street as her view is blocked by a very high stone wall.

Julia says she was unable to use the disabled parking bays because vigil participants were “using the area as a drop-off.” It is not clear how vigil participants could open the locked barrier which protects the staff and disabled parking at Chalmers. If they were able to do so, it is not explained how Julia was able to identify someone parking in a disabled space as a participant at the vigil.

STV have a history of publishing false or misleading stories regarding vigils including the report that a student met “15 – 20 protestors at 7am” as well as using pictures from Idaho, USA, to illustrate Scottish vigil stories

Conclusion: INCORRECT

40 Days for Life participants did not use the disabled parking bays at the Chalmers Clinic. They are protected by a barrier to which the public have no access. ‘Julia’ could not have been prevented from using a disabled space by vigil participants

STV News was contacted for comment.