Meet our team! While we have implemented a team structure for better organisation and efficiency, we want to stay true to our grassroots values. The team members below are arranged in alphabetical order to reflect that nobody's role is more important than another. We value each and every member of our team as we all have important roles to fulfill.
EMMA AHLERT (SHE/HER)
I'm a proud graduate of Butler University with a background in Arts Administration, International Studies, and Media Studies. In my fourth year, I pioneered initiatives to ensure that Butler students recieved high-quality education about sexual assault and healthy relationships. I then received a Masters Degree in Sociology in Global Change from the University of Edinburgh. My dissertation explored negative emotional consequences of inadequate access to sexual health education.
Since coming to Edinburgh, I’ve sought out opportunities that align with my professional mission statement of “finding creative ways to have difficult conversations.” One of which is in my role as the Outreach Director for CERT, the Contraception Education Reform Team. It has been incredible to coordinate social media for and help oversee the expansion of Back Off Scotland. Despite this campaign starting digitally over lockdown, it has brought me so close to the Edinburgh community as we advocate for everyone’s right to harassment-free healthcare.
LUCY GRIEVE (SHE/HER)
As an Edinburgh native, I was surprised to hear about the resumption of anti-choice protests at the Chalmers Centre in the midst of a pandemic. Protests of this nature constitute harassment, they are intimidating, and they work to undo the decades of effort that won us the abortion rights we have.
Back Off Scotland isn’t about being pro-choice or anti-choice - it’s about protecting patients across Scotland seeking abortion services from targeted, on-street harassment and intimidation that may act as a barrier to accessing healthcare.
Currently I’m a Social Anthropology and Social Policy student at the University of Edinburgh and I would like to go on to do my Masters in Health Policy. My interests lie in reproductive and sexual health policy particularly, and I feel committed to doing all I can to ensure that our campaign achieves its goal of having 150 metre protest-free ‘buffer zones’ legitimated through law. I hope that our campaign can promote more open and inclusive conversations about access to abortion and sexual health more widely.
MIA MORGALLA (SHE/HER)
Co-founder & Head of Fundraising
Bodily autonomy is at the centre of my feminist politics and it’s disappointing that even after all the strides the movement has made, some still harass women trying to exercise that right.
I believe abortion access and reproductive healthcare should be available to all, without discrimination, so have joined Back Off Scotland to help advocate for 150m buffer zones and create a more peaceful environment outside clinics. Nobody should feel harassed, criticised, or guilty for accessing what is a basic human right.
I moved to Edinburgh from Manchester and I am currently a third year Classical Studies student with a passion for studying the lives of ancient women. I was previously involved in campaigning for the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill and hope this campaign will be just as successful and impactful.
ALICE MURRAY (SHE/HER)
University Outreach Officer
I was shocked to learn of the presence of the anti-abortion protesters when I moved to Edinburgh. Having grown up in Scotland, I felt frustrated that we are often regarded as a ‘progressive’ country, and yet this was still going on.
In my third year of university, I experienced the protesters personally, when I seeked an abortion at Chalmers Clinic. The frustration I felt from having my choice questioned and my body politicised, has motivated my involvement in Back Off. If we are going to offer adequate sexual health services through the NHS, it needs to be a requirement that they are harassment free. Anti- abortion protesters not only intimidate those seeking abortions, but also those going for a STI check up or collecting prescriptions.
I am currently in my final year studying Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh. I have also been teaching sex education to high school students and completed my dissertation on sex education in Scotland. I hope to continue working in the sexual health policy sector in the future.
LILY ROBERTS (SHE/HER)
National Campaign Coordinator
Halfway through my penultimate year reading sociology at The University of Glasgow, my studies are centred around sexual and reproductive rights with the intention to continue researching the field beyond my degree. I am keen to do my bit in raising awareness and helping instigate change.
Having experienced protestors personally at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital when seeking an abortion in my first year at Glasgow, the reality of the dire state of protections currently in place against this form of harassment became startlingly clear to me. To prey on someone in a vulnerable position is unacceptable and policy must do better to ensure people feel safe in making decisions regarding their bodily autonomy.
As a central part of reproductive and sexual rights, abortion simply should not be stigmatised. Rights are not conditional. We shouldn’t shy away from discussing matters of sex, abortion or contraception and it is crucial that we mobilise to break down stigma and barriers to healthcare access.
ANNA COWAN (SHE/HER)
Campaign Strategy Team Lead
Abortion access and reproductive rights are central to my feminist activism and belief system. It is appalling that harassment against people who are seeking an abortion is tolerated in Scotland, and I believe the implementation of 150m buffer zones will act as a safeguarding mechanism and a deterrent. Nobody should feel harassed when they are making an extremely personal and brave decision, and I hope our campaign will assist in protecting individuals who seek to have an abortion.
I am in my final year at the University of Edinburgh studying Sociology and Politics. I am involved in various feminist activist circles and organisations such as Girls Against, Sexpression and CERT. Feminism and gender equality are my passions and through being involved in Back Off Scotland, I hope to make a positive change to the lives of women, non-binary people and anybody else who is seeking to have an abortion. I plan to continue my studies in Sociology with a focus on gender.
GEORGIA HARDING (SHE/HER)
National Campaign Coordinator
Living in the UK with access to abortion care a right that many of us take for granted, it horrifies me that people choose to protest an individual’s decision outside medical centres.
Medical centres which provide multitudes of services other than abortion – yet all patients are subject to and witness to the harassment from protestors. Back Off Scotland is needed to end this harassment, and the barriers harassment can create to accessing healthcare.
Currently I study Social and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow where I am also a part of Glasgow Students for Choice. At Glasgow Students for Choice we advocate for the right to bodily autonomy, create safe places for discussion of sex and reproductive healthcare and aim to reduce the stigma surrounding abortion.
ELIZA MORGAN (SHE/HER)
Like many, I was shocked and angry to hear about protesters outside abortion clinics in Scotland, especially as I believe that access to healthcare should be a universal right for all, free of harassment and discrimination.
In working towards making this a reality, I joined Back Off Scotland to advocate for 150m buffer zones around abortion clinics, to allow those seeking an abortion a safe and judgement free experience.
I am currently in my final year at the University of Edinburgh, studying Sociology and Politics. I have a passionate interest in bettering sexual health experiences in Scotland, and I have been able to contribute towards this effort through my work as a Research Team Leader at CERT Scotland, where I have worked on various research projects surrounding contraception and sexual health.
Head of National Petition
As a Venezuelan woman who has lived more than a decade abroad, it has become increasingly apparent that, notwithstanding differences in economic standing, socio-cultural complexities, or political spheres, systems of gender injustice are superimposed ubiquitously.
The policing of bodies, such as harassment in sexual health clinic vicinities, is more often than not a tool for the oppression of marginalised groups - specifically black, trans, queer and POC pregnant people.
My motivation to join Back Off Scotland arose from witnessing pro-life protests first-hand in Edinburgh, and from my belief in grassroot efforts to rectify legislative gaps allowing such injustices to occur.
I'm currently in the final year of a International Relations and International Law degree, to pursue a legal career furnished with experience serving as Coordinator of OurSpeakeasy, and as Campaign Officer for the Feminist Society of the University of Edinburgh. I enjoy writing, singing, dancing, and creating in my spare time.
KAROLINA ZIEBA (SHE/HER)
Having grown up in Poland and the United States, I have seen many ways in which patients are prevented from accessing healthcare. Sometimes it’s the physical resources available, sometimes it’s the financial obstacles, and other times it’s systemic oppression.
I believe in Back Off Scotland because I believe in the basic right to safety and healthcare without harassment. I want to support my community and ensure that anyone accessing abortion can do so safely.
I am in my last year of my Chemistry degree at the University of Edinburgh and will continue to study Global Health Policy. I am also a freelance illustrator and embroiderer.