Glasgow MSP John Mason claims ‘considerable scepticism’ about informed consent sought by medical staff around abortions

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
An MSP who sparked a row over abortion clinics said there is ‘considerable scepticism’ around the requirement for informed consent during medically approved abortions.

John Mason, 64, claims he has heard women report they were told they would experience few or no side effects post abortions but have gone on to face problems.

Over the weekend, the SNP MSP sparked outrage as he claimed clinics ‘push abortion without laying out the pros and cons’ which Nicola Sturgeon has named as ‘wrong’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
SNP MSP John Mason has faced criticism for his comments about abortion clinics SNP MSP John Mason has faced criticism for his comments about abortion clinics
SNP MSP John Mason has faced criticism for his comments about abortion clinics

Mr Mason made the accusation despite assurances from medical experts all patients must provide informed consent before going through any medical procedure.

Mr Mason, who represents Glasgow Shettleston, said: “I think there is considerable scepticism about this requirement for ‘informed consent’.

“Women have reported how they were told there would be few if any side effects when in fact they then had huge physical, mental, and emotional problems sometimes for years afterwards.

“The actual abortion procedure is certainly not easy for a woman.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But it does not seem to be difficult to access an abortion given that so many have taken place and continue to do so.

“During Covid ‘at-home abortions’ were permitted and this makes it even more likely that a woman can be pressurised by her family or her partner to have an abortion even if she does not really want one.”

Asked whether he has ever stepped foot in an abortion clinic, Mr Mason said: “I would have no reason to go inside an abortion clinic (or any other clinic for that matter).

“But I have heard women speak who have had very bad experiences of abortion.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Medical experts accused Mr Mason of spouting misinformation.

Dr Audrey Brown, an abortion provider based in Glasgow, said: “He needs to reconsider what he is saying.

“People accessing abortion in Scotland have a full consultation with a highly trained clinician and consider all their options.

“The clinics are there to support people to make their best decision whatever that decision is.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Absolutely no-one is pushed into having an abortion by staff in the clinic.

“Everyone having a medical procedure has to provide informed consent and you cannot get this without explaining the pros and cons.”

Post and pre-counselling is available via the NHS if people are unsure as to how they want to proceed with a pregnancy.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.