AN NHS doctor has called on Humza Yousaf to move on plans to create no-protest “buffer” zones outside of clinics that provide abortion services “as soon as possible”.

Dr Greg Irwin – who previously made front page news after challenging a small group of anti-abortion protesters outside the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow – made the call on social media.

Irwin hit out as the 40 Days For Life religious group, an international campaign first founded in Texas, held the last in a line of “vigils”, which was attended by more than 100 people on April 2.

In a message to Yousaf, the doctor said: “I hope very much that you're going to push through [Scottish Green MSP] Gillian Mackay's buffer zones bill as soon as possible because as you can see we've got well over 100 demonstrators, protestors outside my hospital right now.

"These people are here to bully women coming into the hospital and seeking abortion healthcare. That's completely out of order.

"So, Mr Yousaf, I know you've got a lot on your plate, but the bill's already making its way through parliament. I would very much appreciate your help in getting it in to law as soon as possible so that Scotland can catch up with the rest of the UK and bring in buffer zones to protect our sisters and our daughters.”

READ MORE: Gillian Mackay: Buffer zones must happen sooner rather than later

Irwin also shared a picture of the anti-abortion protesters along a road opposite the hospital. He wrote: “Heartbreaking seeing them all lined up facing the hospital like this. If this isn’t intimidation, I don’t know what is.”

Pro-choice activist and author Gemma Clark shared a video of the protest, which saw demonstrators hold lanterns and signs in a “vigil” against abortion. She said it showed “what women and vulnerable people in Glasgow have to face outside hospitals”.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Scottish LibDem leader, shared the video and echoed Irwin, who is also a Labour activist, in calling for faster movement on the introduction of buffer zones.

“We aren’t moving fast enough to prevent intimidation of those seeking abortion services outside of Scotland’s hospitals,” the MSP wrote. “Your right to protest doesn’t trump someone’s right to intimate medical care without judgment or intimidation.”

It comes as Green MSP Gillian Mackay told The National she would be looking to speed up progress on her Safe Access Zones Bill after the "sickening" harassment of patients and staff.

Pro-choice protesters had been to the site of the 40 Days For Life protest to hang their own signs aimed at supporting the women looking to access abortion services. These said things like “bodily autonomy is sacred”, “no womb for your opinion”, “my body, my choice”, and “reproductive justice now”.

The anti-abortion protesters held lanterns and signs which had slogans such as “10 million abortions in the UK” and “Don't be coerced into abortion”.

The push for “buffer zones” around abortion clinics in Scotland was handed a boost in December after the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that Northern Ireland’s bid to introduce “safe access zones” was legal and within competence.

Central Scotland MSP Mackay previously told The National she was in no doubt that the Scottish version of the bill will also get taken to court if it’s passed.

Her bill would establish 150m buffer zones around abortion clinics where protest would be barred. These may be enforced by police.