Supreme Court overturns Massachusetts 'buffer zone' law
June 26, 2014
In a stunning unanimous decision, the US Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts law that barred pro-life activists from coming with 35 feet of the door of an abortion clinic.
The "bubble zone" law allowed clinic employees to enter the area in front of abortion clinics, and allowed ordinary pedestrians on the sidewalk, but forced pro-life counselors outside the area. The Court found that this approach constituted an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech.
Writing for the Court in the McCullen v. Coakley case, Justice Samuel Alito said: "It is clear on the face of the Massachusetts law that it discriminates based on viewpoint. Speech in favor of the clinic and its work by employees and agents is permitted; speech criticizing the clinic and its work is a crime. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination."
- High court voids 35-foot abortion clinic buffer (AP)
- Supreme Court Strikes Down Law on Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones (New York Times)