Friday, June 27, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Massachusetts Clinic Buffer Zone Law

Yesterday the Supreme Court decided unanimously in McCullen, et al. v Coakley, striking down the Massachusetts Buffer Zone Law.  The 2007 law had instituted a 35 foot perimeter rule for abortion protesters at the entrances to clinics.  The Court said that the law too heavily restricted the free speech rights of abortion opponents in a public way who wanted to talk to people entering the clinics.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said that she would work with the Legislature, Governor and advocates to ensure women safe access to reproductive health care that also meets the requirements of the Supreme Court.  The opinion states that the Commonwealth must find other ways to preserve safety, access and stop harassment at the clinics.