Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2014 / 08:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts state law that imposed a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, in which protestors and pro-life counselors could not enter to speak with patients.
In 2007, Massachusetts amended existing law and made it a crime to “knowingly stand on a ‘public way or sidewalk’ within 35 feet of an entrance or driveway to any ‘reproductive health care facility.’” This barred pro-life sidewalk counselors from distributing literature and having personal conversations with women entering the building anywhere within this distance of the clinic.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the buffer law in January 2013, ruling that the First Amendment does not guarantee an audience “available at close range,” and arguing that pro-life counselors still have access to women seeking abortions, even with the 35-foot buffer zone in place.
However, Supreme Court overturned the appellate court’s ruling in a rare unanimous vote, saying that the law restricted speech on public streets and sidewalks.
Read the entire article at: