Nicola Sturgeon has said she would consider buffer zones outside abortion clinics to prevent women from suffering abuse.

The First Minister was asked about the harassment women faced outside abortion clinics and said the Government would “consider what steps we can take” to prevent abuse.

Speaking at FMQs, Monica Lennon, of Scottish Labour, warned that “abortion rights are under attack around the world” and challenged Ms Sturgeon about the harassment suffered by women in Scotland trying to access clinics.

Ms Lennon said that plans for buffer zones around clinics to prevent anti-abortion campaigners intimidating women had stalled and asked the First Minister to consider implementing them nationwide.

It comes after campaign group Back Off Scotland accused the Scottish Government of ‘backtracking’ over clinic buffer zones after they were told that ‘national legislation was not on the cards’.

READ MORE: Scottish Government accused of 'backtracking' on abortion clinic buffer zone legislation

On Tuesday September 14, campaigners met with the Scottish Government Women’s Health Minister, Maree Todd MSP, to discuss possible legislation to enact buffer zones around all clinics providing abortion services in Scotland.

However, during the meeting, Ms Todd stated that national legislation was not on the cards as the government feared the matter would be taken to court by pro-life groups and that they would lose.

Last month, Scotland became the first country in the UK to introduce a Women’s Health Plan which stated that the Scottish Government would work alongside the NHS, local authorities and justice agencies to “find ways of preventing women feeling harassed when accessing abortion care due to protests or vigils”.

Back Off co-founder and director Lucy Grieve expressed her frustration and said that by enacting buffer zones in one local authority area and not others, harassment-free access to healthcare turns into "a postcode lottery".

Responding to Ms Lennon today, Ms Sturgeon cited the SNP manifesto commitment to supporting councils that wanted to “establish by-laws to create protest-free buffer zones outside clinics that provide abortion services”.

She added: “I am a very strong believer in a woman’s right to choose on the issue of abortion and, if it’s possible, I’m an even stronger advocate – as I think everybody should be regardless of different views on abortion – that any woman having an abortion should be able to do so without any fear or reality of abuse or harassment.

“I do believe that there’s work to be done to make sure that that is the case, and I think my party’s manifesto, as other manifestos did, had things to say on this in the election.

“We will be considering steps that we can take to make sure that that is a right that women can exercise in reality.”