When I was 18, I had a pregnancy scare and in a maelstrom of panic went to see the female GP in the Ayrshire town where I lived.

If pregnancy tests were even as available on shelves then, I’d have been too ashamed to buy one.

Unmarried women who got pregnant were still considered “fallen women” in the 80s and the prospect of the gauntlet of shame, the terror of a future lost by ­pregnancy was devastating.

I will never forget the judgment of the doctor, a religious woman who could not hide her contempt or resist the opportunity to unleash her sanctimony.

Instead of calming me and suggesting we wait for a pregnancy result before going into meltdown, she lectured me on my fickleness and warned I faced an arduous process to access abortion if I was to be allowed one at all.

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All these years later I still inwardly shrink at the memory of her self-righteousness.

I wasn’t pregnant and so didn’t need an abortion but over the years I have interviewed many women shuffled off to another area, with the act shrouded in secrecy.

Decades later abortion still requires the signature of two doctors and 10 per cent of GPs are still conscientious objectors.

It is still not easy.

US-based anti-choice group 40 Days for Life are currently carrying-out “prayer vigils” outside abortion facilities across Scotland, picketing women for exploiting their legal right to choose. They are a motley crew of religious zealots, full of Christ and condemnation.

They claim to be “committed to ending the scourge of abortion” through prayer, love and compassion.”

Picketing women who are already facing one of the hardest decisions of their life as they access their legal and human right to healthcare is not an act of “compassion” but a witch hunt.

It is sickening enough to have imported the tactics of evangelical bullies from the US but to have one of our own MSPs, John Mason of the SNP, stand with the vigils is nauseating.

SNP MSP John Mason

Mason is not fit to sit in a modern parliament as an anti-same sex marriage dinosaur who believes our children should be taught creationism.

Forgive us, if as women we don’t heed the Victorian views of a 64- year-old former missionary who would have us manacled to a scripture written by men for men.

Abortion is an emotionally wrought choice for most women.

Some have been raped, others told their child will be severely disabled and some will be in abusive relationships.

Some will be mothers who are doing it as much for the quality of life for their children as themselves and others will simply need an abortion as a child is not in their plans.

When abortion was a crime in the UK, women still found illegal ways to access it in dangerous backstreet conditions.

Across the globe, according to the World Health Organisation, almost half of abortions are carried out in dangerous conditions and seven million women are admitted to hospital because of complications from the unsafe procedures.

In Northern Ireland, women are still struggling to access safe ­abortion services more than 18 months after the procedure was made legal.

Back Off Scotland, founded by remarkable young feminists, is calling for buffer zones around clinics to keep the vigils away from women accessing healthcare.

But they currently find themselves in a stalemate, with local authorities claiming this is a national issue, while the Scottish Government is passing on responsibility to councils.

It is time for the stalemate to end and for the Scottish Government and local authorities to stop this harassment of women.

Unless we want these religious menaces to gain a foothold they have in the US, they need to be put back in their box.

To them we say, take your evangelism back across the pond. Godspeed, we don’t want you here.

Royals' green credentials are a cop out

As COP26 nears it’s been a joy to have the Royals lecture us on how we should all be doing more to save the planet.

The Queen has shown a personal interest in climate change by having Scottish ministers change a draft law to make her private land the only exception to an initiative to cut carbon emissions.

Prince Charles, left, is doing his bit by running his Aston Martin on “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”.

Delighted for the tip as one is always at a loss as to what to do with one’s excess of whey.

He also suggested we eat less meat and instead choose finer cuts from purer organic breeds.

This would cut down on waste as many British families couldn’t then afford to eat for the rest of the week.

He did not suggest taking scheduled flights instead of helicopters and private jets as he is aware we are not savages.

The Prince has also planted a private wood on one of his numerous vast estates – tricky to replicate in a council high rise but who needs a living room?

Gie's peace, Ye big eejit

Kanye West has formally changed his name to “Ye” as it is the most commonly used word in the Bible.

The rapper was raging as his first choice “God” had already been snapped up although his name change has produced many exclamations of “Christ almighty”.

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