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New England News

New Mass. Abortion Clinic Law Comes Weeks After Supreme Court Ruling

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Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics in Massachusetts.Wednesday's signing comes a little more than one month after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 2007 state law that established a protest-free 35-foot "buffer zone" around the entrances to abortion clinics.

The new law allows police to disperse protesters who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. Those individuals will then have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic's entrances for up to eight hours.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state was disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling, but is proud it wasn’t the final word.

“Not only do we think these provisions will protect access, we’re confident they’ll stand up to constitutional challenge,” Coakley said after the measures were signed into law.

Abortion opponents have said they would go back to court if the proposal became law.

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