A small victory for safe access to womens’ clinics in Massachusetts today:
The US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Massachusetts law on Friday, allowing a 35-foot safety buffer zone between protestors and abortion clinic entrances. The law, established in 2007, protects clinic patients and staff from harassment.
Five anti-choice protesters originally filed the lawsuit on the grounds that the safety zones violate their right to free speech. In 2008, US District Judge Joseph Tauro rejected their request and they filed the most recent appeal.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the law does not infringe on protestors’ free speech rights and applies to all protestors no matter their viewpoint.
Only 35 feet?? Not nearly wide enough in my opinion (try “out of high-powered rifle range”), but at least now patients can get in and out of the clinic without having to raise umbrellas against the flying spittle.