Massachusetts Officials Will Seek New Buffer Zone Rules

Jun 26, 2014

A painted line denotes the 35-foot buffer zone around the entrance to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston, MA

Massachusetts officials who support protest-free zones around abortion clinics say they will try to craft new rules in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that the state's 35-foot buffer zone violated the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office argued before the court to keep the buffer zone, said she was disappointed but would continue fighting to make sure women had access to health care.

State Senate President Therese Murray said she expected lawmakers to come up with new language to address the court's concerns before the legislative session ends July 31.

But Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, called the court's ruling "a victory for all citizens who value their First Amendment rights."

Coakley and leaders from Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts have scheduled a press conference on today's decision at 2:45 p.m.

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