Massachusetts politicians unveil legislation to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' at abortion clinics
July 15, 2014
Working quickly in response to a Supreme Court decision that overturned the law that established a “buffer zone” outside abortion clinics, Massachusetts political leaders have introduced new legislation that would allow police to disperse crowds near the clinic doors.
The proposed new law authorizes police to move people 25 feet from the clinic door if their presence “substantially impedes” access. The bill would also allow prosecution of anyone found to be threatening people who enter the clinic.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said that the new legislation was the “best solution” to protect the safety of women entering abortion clinics. But in an op-ed column published in the Boston Globe, William Cotter, the leader of Operation Rescue-Boston, pointed out that there has been no evidence of violence or threats by pro-lifers.
Planned Parenthood, the organization most visibly pressing for new legislation, has security cameras at its Boston clinic, Cotter remarked; yet no footage has ever been produced documenting any misconduct by pro-lifers. Cotter observed:
Every day since the nullification of the buffer zone by the Supreme Court, there has been a heavy Boston police presence outside of Planned Parenthood. Yet there have been no arrests, nor threats of arrest. Are we supposed to believe that the police are negligent or complicit? In fact, there has never been an arrest in Boston of a pro-life demonstrator or counselor for committing violence.
- Bill’s ‘dispersal areas’ would replace abortion clinic buffer zone (Boston Herald)
- Buffer zone rhetoric belies facts about pro-life demonstrators (Boston Globe)
- Supreme Court overturns Massachusetts 'buffer zone' law (CWN 6/26)