In Blow to Safe Abortion Access, Supreme Court Rejects 'Buffer Zone'
In a blow to safe access to reproductive health care services, the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled (pdf) against a state effort to enforce a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.
“This decision turns back the clock to the days when women were too intimidated by protestors to seek medical care,” said Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “Women’s health will suffer because of it.”
Ruling on McCullen v. Coakley, the justices unanimously sided with plaintiff Eleanor McCullen who argued that the buffer zone established by the Massachusetts Attorney General violates her First Amendment rights.
“Today the Justices made it more difficult for states to protect their citizens,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Hogue noted that since 1991, anti-choice activists have committed eight murders and 17 attempted murders.
“The law was supported by public safety officials whose goal is to protect women, doctors, and clinic workers from the relentless harassment and intimidation that they face daily,” she added.
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