Mass. Officials Will Seek New Buffer Zone Rules
Massachusetts officials who support protest-free zones around abortion clinics say they will try to craft new rules in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that the state’s 35-foot buffer zone violated the First Amendment rights of protesters.
Gov. Deval Patrick said he believed the state law struck a balance between the rights of women seeking access to care and the rights of protesters, but said the Supreme Court “obviously disagreed.”
Patrick and Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office argued before the court to keep the buffer zone, said they would work with lawmakers to come up with a new law that addressed the concerns of the justices.
Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, called the court’s ruling “a victory for all citizens who value their First Amendment rights.”