I WELCOME the courage of John Mason MSP in standing up to the liberal agenda to establish “buffer zones” (SNP’s Mason: Not having pro-life option undermines Parliament and party, Sep 24).

These are to prevent pro-life vigils near abortion clinics but the vigils are not protests and do not harass. They are for prayer and in the hope that any mother who is being coerced into having an abortion against her will, which is fairly common, will take the chance to change course.

An outstanding Scot who would have supported Mr Mason and the vigils, was James Young Simpson (1811-70). Simpson, whose kindly face looked out at us from the pages of The National on May 30, was he who introduced the use of chloroform as a painkiller. As Michael Fry so ably pointed out, Simpson dedicated his lifelong work to the care of mothers and babies.

No snob, at a time when childbirth had been considered rather beneath the medical profession and left to midwives, he specialised in obstetrics. He went out of his way to attend to the poor in the slums of Edinburgh; he championed breastfeeding and the bonding of mothers and babies; and he traced the causes of puerperal fever and sepsis.

READ MORE: John Mason disciplined for defending anti-abortion protestors

Another stalwart doctor, Ian Donald (1910-87) would have supported Mr Mason. He became the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Glasgow University after a professional lifetime attending to the care of the unborn and newly born babies.

After coming north and in co-operation with an industrialist in Renfrew and others, he developed the ultrasound technique by which we may safely see and follow the development of the baby within the womb ... and young couples thus receive their first photograph of their offspring! This invention is now used in every country in the world.

A film taken of an actual abortion is said to have been the turning point for the American, Dr Nathanson, who ran one of the largest abortion clinics in the world. The film became known as The Silent Scream and after watching it, Dr Nathanson resigned from his position and took a quite different course. His documented evidence about the origins of Roe v Wade has probably contributed to its reversal.

As John Mason points out, a parliament that does not allow different points of view to be expressed is no parliament at all.

Lesley J Findlay

Fort Augustus

IT’S apt that those staging vigils are a Texan group titled 40 Days for Life, because their pro-life stance only lasts until you are born, after which you’re on your own to die as a result of inability to access healthcare in a mass shooting because any idiot can access firearms (Scottish anti-abortion activists launch ‘intimidating’ six weeks of ‘vigils’, thenational.scot, Sep 28).

I’m a follower of Jesus and, yes, I have difficulties with abortion as a moral concern, but standing outside a clinic with a loudhailer is not in any way, shape or form the means to discuss the issue. Nor is hiding behind Old Testament quotes ripped out of context. The last thing we need in this country is any representation of, or from, proponents of White American Folk Religion.

READ MORE: Anti-abortion lobbyists met MSPs more than 100 times

What would Jesus do? He certainly would not resort to bullying, intimidation or harassment.

Craig Webster

via thenational.scot

INTERESTING contrast between the “inability” of the police to do anything about this abuse and their clampdown on the bearer of a blank placard raised against the monarchy.

The police evidently have the power and choose not to use it ... unless the protester in question is a lone female ... root-and-branch reform needed.

Stuart Ingleby

via thenational.scot