Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Mass. 'Buffer Zone' Law

Massachusetts lawmaker who wrote bill said it is "important to ensure women’s access to reproductive health."


The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will reconsider the constitutionality of a Massachusetts state law passed in 2007 that prohibits protests in 35-foot "buffer zones" at abortion clinics, according to the Associated Press.

The appeal comes from abortion opponents who believe the law unfairly prevents them from engaging patients in conversations at the clinics, the AP reported.

The high court will take on a decision upholding the law by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said it protects the rights of those in the clinics without "offending the First Amendment rights of others," according to the AP.

In a statement, State Rep. Carl Sciortino, a Democrat who represents Medford and Somerville and authored the law, said he wrote it "after witnessing patients and their loved ones force their way through protestors to get to a health clinic."

Sciortino said that while respecting First Amendment rights, "there is no right to harassment and brutal intimidation, which is exactly what was going on before the bill’s passage. This law is important to ensure women’s access to reproductive health, and this challenge is just another attack from the right in the war on women."

Tell us: What do you think of the "buffer" law? Should it be reconsidered?

Amy June 26, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Oh good! I'm so glad they're not religious zealots brainswashing scared and vulnerable women.
Gretchen Robinson June 26, 2013 at 07:49 PM
this clergy member is an abortion rights activist and also a Catholic. It's a common misconception that all clergy (must be) against abortion. /www.zoominfo.com/p/Rosemary-Candelario/90163539
paul June 26, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Anyone that would stand outside a Planned Parenthood needs to "get a life" pun intended. Why would anyone be against an organization that provides affordable birth control? If you are opposed to abortions, you should be all for Planned Parenthood. Attention right wing fanatics: the Earth is over populated with people dying of starvation every day, worry about the already born babies!
Kerry Doucet June 29, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Yes, it does need to be reconsidered. There is a need to take into consideration where the protesters are protesting, if it maybe near a heavy residential area. It affects the lives of the people who live in the area of these legally operated businesses. I personally have been woken up at or before 7 am on a Sat morning hearing some lady screaming "Don't Kill Your Baby"!. I ask why should I have to hear this on a weekly basis cause I live near a protest area? I don't even want to mention that horrible BIG sign on old man holds almost every night. Not to mention its a park with a playground, what parent is going to let their child play there while he is around?
Jerry Chase July 25, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Conception control is different than birth control. The latter in today's world is usually slaughtering innocent life for no reason other than convenience. Abortion is pre-meditated murder. The child always has a different DNA than the mother. The pro-death crowd bases some of their argument that a pregnancy is an unfair imposition on the mother. Not so; and the child is biologically [logic of life] just as much the father's child as the mother's. No pro-death argument can make the practice moral. Why do I think so? Because I have experienced the deaths of three of my own, and thus know whereof I speak . . . but not arrogantly, if you please.


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