AN SNP MSP has been photographed participating in an anti-abortion protest in Edinburgh.

John Mason, the representative for Glasgow Shettleston, was seen at the Society for Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) human chain on Lothian Road.

Pictures were posted online of the MSP and calls for the removal of the whip were also shared.

The SPUC holds a “peaceful public act of witness to commemorate the millions of unborn babies killed, and the families hurt, by abortion” every year.

A counter-protest across the road was where activists spotted Mason from.

Gemma Clark, author of You Matter More Than Cells was at the counter-protest, snapped the picture (above) of Mason and told The National: “It is disappointing to see a Member of the Scottish Parliament protesting against your right to healthcare.

READ MORE: 'Evil and vindictive': MSP reveals abuse from anti-abortion activists

“Mr Mason absolutely has the right to attend anti-abortion protests if he wishes, but similarly, women and LGBT people also have the right to not vote for people who would use their position of power to do us harm.”

Mason's SNP colleague, MP Tommy Sheppard, shared that he was across the road at the counter-protest with the Abortion Rights (Committee) Scotland "to defend a women's right to choose".

Lucy Grieve, co-founder of Back Off Scotland said it was “completely inappropriate” that Mason retains the SNP party whip.

Grieve said: “John Mason’s continued campaign of disinformation about abortion is unacceptable.

“It’s completely inappropriate that an MSP who has been repeatedly criticised by the medical community of Scotland, as well as members of his own party, for his false remarks about abortion services should be allowed to retain the party whip.”

Anna Cowan, a policy and campaigns officer for a sexual health charity, reacted online to Mason protesting by calling it “disgusting, appalling stuff”.

She said: “How on EARTH has John Mason not been suspended from the SNP for this behaviour and his beliefs is beyond me. Disgusting, appalling stuff.

"I think it is baffling that he has barely received a slap on the wrist from the SNP for his archaic and offensive beliefs about abortion.

Cowan added: "It is clear that the party line is pro-choice and I do not understand why he is allowed time and time again to express his damaging views without consequence. I believe in freedom of speech but it is clear that his views are not acceptable in a modern society, and I think he should have the whip removed."

Both SNP and Scottish Greens were approached for comment.

Gillian Mackay, whose Abortion Services Safe Access Zones Bill will make it illegal for anti-choice protests to take place right outside a clinic if it is passed, said:

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf 'unequivocally' backs buffer zone legislation

“We have recently seen a large number of anti-abortion protests, particularly near hospitals and clinics. The Scottish Greens and I are clear that abortion is healthcare, and we should strive to advance rights.

“These protests have only galvanised support around my Bill, and I thank everyone, including the First Minister who has joined the campaign to protect the right to choose."

Buffer zone legislation has passed in both Northern Ireland – following a landmark Supreme Court judgement just before Christmas – and England and Wales via an amendment to the Public Order Bill which has added to people’s frustrations that Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the UK in addressing the matter.

Mackay has previously said her team were working as fast as possible and stressed the government would not be able to progress it any quicker than her at this stage.