Fears have been raised that Scottish women could face having to travel south of the Border to have an abortion if powers over terminations and fertility treatment laws are handed to Holyrood.

The Scottish Council on Human Bioethics (SCHB) has called for control over the laws to be part of the package of new responsibilities that will be devolved from Westminster to Scotland in the wake of the independence referendum.

Under its proposals, decisions around surrogacy, genetics and the transplantation of animal organs, tissue and cells into human beings would also be made in Edinburgh, a suggestion that the Scottish Government indicated it welcomed and pro-life campaigners enthusiastically backed.

However, it has sparked fears over a rise in "reproductive tourism" within the UK and concern about the prospect of women travelling south if Scotland was to reduce the current time limit on terminations.

The Association of Clinical Embryologists (ACE) said it strongly opposed devolution in the areas, raising concerns around how separate systems would be regulated and the practical consequences for patients should Scotland adopt different laws to England and Wales on issues including abortion and fertility treatments such as IVF.

Currently, an abortion can be carried out within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, although Scotland's Health Secretary Alex Neil has said he personally favours reducing that limit.

Should Scotland adopt a stricter law, it could potentially see women cross the Border to seek terminations, leading to "serious patient safety issues", according to the ACE.

Stephen Harbottle, chairman of the ACE, said his organisation had fought for many years to standardise the "highly emotive, ethically and morally charged" issues surrounding infertility treatment and that adopting different rules in Scotland could place care standards in jeopardy.

"To fragment the UK regionally, with the potential for differing standards and practices and perhaps a differing licensing authority, would lead to difficulties in promoting a common best practice standard and could result in fertility tourism within the UK with patients travelling both ways over the Scottish Border in the hope of finding an improved treatment availability," he said.

"We are equally concerned that devolution of abortion legislation could lead to a similar situation for people seeking this service and could result in serious patient safety issues."

Abortion law is already set separately for Northern Ireland, where terminations are only allowed in very restricted circumstances. More than 1,000 women travel to other parts of the UK from the province every year to terminate pregnancies and they must pay bills for their transport, accommodation and the £900 cost of the procedure.

A spokeswoman for the Pro-Life Alliance, said: "Scotland has always been more conservative on pro-life issues, whether that's euthanasia or abortion. There seems to be a deeper sense of respect and awe of human life.

"We think there would be much more conservative legislation on these issues in Scotland, and while we would continue to work towards making sure abortion is abolished, any changes that would save lives are to be celebrated."

Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research for the SCHB, an independent group including physicists, ethicists and lawyers, said that Holyrood had proved itself "extremely capable in addressing complex ethical matters" and that transferring powers to Scotland would "bring decision-making in these very important areas closer to the Scottish people."

The group has appealed to The Smith Commission, which is facilitating discussions over extended powers for Scotland, to help devolve human embryology and genetics.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: "The Scottish Government will be playing a full part in the work of the Smith Commission and supports new powers for Scotland capable of making a real difference to people's lives."