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Humza Yousaf, the newly elected leader of the Scottish National Party, signs the nomination form to become First Minister for Scotland.Jane Barlow - Pool/Getty Images

EDINBURGH, Scotland (LifeSiteNews) –– Members of Scotland’s governing party have elected the radically pro-abortion and pro-LGBT Humza Yousaf as their new leader.

The results of the leadership bid for the Scottish National Party (SNP) were announced March 27, with Yousaf winning 52.1 percent of the votes, despite not having won a majority in the first round of voting. Kate Forbes – who faced severe media scrutiny for her Christian beliefs regarding marriage, sex, and the family – came in second with 47.9 percent of the vote. 

Yousaf, who served as the health secretary under predecessor Nicola Sturgeon, described the result as “the greatest honor and privilege of my life,” adding that “in the SNP we are a family.”

Yousaf, a self-described “proud Muslim,” is notable for his prominent support of abortion along with transgender legislation and LGBT “rights.” Indeed, responding to the election results, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) warned that under his premiership “Scotland could end up with the most extreme abortion legislation in Europe.”

Abortion promotion

The SNP members have “elected a leader who is committed to criminalizing peaceful pro-life people through buffer zone legislation, and ensuring babies can be killed in barbaric late-term abortions by ‘bringing forward decriminalization proposals in current parliament term,’” SPUC wrote.

During the campaign, all three leadership candidates were asked by abortion lobby group Back Off Scotland their stance on abortion policies. Yousaf responded with a public statement of support for abortion, announcing that he would decriminalize abortion. 

Abortion is technically a crime under the Abortion Act of 1967, although widespread access to it is available through so-called exemptions, such as if having a baby would involve “injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family.” Additional exemptions are provided if “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”

If, as Back Off Scotland wishes, the Abortion Act were to be repealed, then such limits would be removed and abortion would be legal up to birth for any reason, including sex-selection abortion. 

Official Public Health Scotland figures report that 13,758 abortions took place in Scotland during 2021.

Yousaf also noted that he would provide “unequivocal support” for so-called “buffer zones” around abortion mills. This builds upon comments he has made during his time in the Scottish Parliament, describing pro-life vigils outside abortuaries as “a disgrace.” 

Then, in a leadership debate held in early March, Yousaf stated he did not believe that abortion is “wrong.” 

“I don’t believe that abortion is wrong if that’s what you are about to ask me,” said Yousaf, “even in the Islamic faith of course abortion is allowed under certain circumstances, but as First Minister and leader of the country I would say very, very clearly that not only would we want to uphold those rights, I’d be a supporter of safe access, those buffer zone effectively so people can’t protest outside abortion clinics.”

He also criticized the 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, saying that it “opened the door to the right-wing ­removing women’s right to choose, and women in Poland are having to fight for their basic right to bodily autonomy.” Such an event, he said, would be the catalyst for him “to advance them [women’s rights] even further. As first minister, I’ll improve access to abortion care and will unequivocally support buffer zones to finally end ­intimidation of women who are ­simply seeking healthcare.”

LGBT record

Yousaf’s record also includes support for radically pro-transgender legislation. He voted for Scotland’s failed Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would have allowed 16-year-olds to change their sex and with only a six-month period living as their new preferred gender. Approved by Scotland’s Parliament on December 22, 2022, it was subsequently blocked by Westminster in mid-January. 

It was also Yousaf who advanced the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, which criminalized “hate speech” in a wide variety of contexts – including against “sexual orientation, transgender identity, [and] variations in sex characteristics” – even inside individual’s homes. 

READ: Scottish gov’t expands definition of ‘hate crime’ with controversial law ‘policing what people think or feel’

During a leadership debate some weeks ago, he promoted same-sex “marriage” when he referenced “equal marriage” as one of the things that he would “defend” people’s “rights” on.

In an interview granted to pro-LGBT Pink News, Yousaf offered sweeping promises to win support from LGBT individuals, stating he wished to insert LGBT “rights” into the nation’s constitution. “That would help to cement them, so that when we do have the inevitable attacks on our rights, we have a concrete foundation by which to defend them,” he stated.

Yousaf promised an “independent, socially just, progressive Scotland” when speaking to Pink News, looking also to ban so-called “conversion therapy.”

However, he came under fire after missing a vote on same-sex “marriage,” with the media accusing him of not being pro-LGBT enough. His campaign team issued a statement responding to the claim, stating, “Humza Yousaf unequivocally supports equal marriage, and has a track record of supporting LGBTI+ rights.”

Pro-lifers express concern

Commenting on Yousaf’s victory, Right to Life UK spokeswoman Catherine Robinson highlighted Yousaf’s public record on abortion. “Humza Yousaf has committed to a change to abortion law, proposed by radical pro-abortion campaigners, that would see the upper time limit completely abolished in Scotland,” she said. “Abortion would be available on demand, for any reason, right through to birth. This means abortion throughout pregnancy.”

“Polling shows that this extreme proposal is not supported by women, with only 1% of women wanting the abortion time limit to be increased right through to birth,” Robinson added. “What decriminalization is really about here is making radical changes to abortion legislation that would allow abortion up to birth, a change in the law that polling shows the general public and women are totally against.”

Voting for the new leader of the SNP was open only to members of the party, with the BBC reporting that 50,490 of the party’s 72,169 members cast a vote. He was then confirmed in the obligatory vote on March 28.

The election was a result of the surprise February resignation of outgoing SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who has led the devolved government since 2014. Nationwide elections for Scotland are currently set to be held in 2026, with a U.K.-wide election due by 2025 at the latest.