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MA Attorney General Will Appeal Anti-Choice Buffer Zone Decision

Massachusetts State Attorney General Thomas Reilly plans to appeal US District Judge Edward Harrington’s injunction against enforcement of MA’s law establishing “buffer zones” around abortion clinics. Similar laws intended to protect clinics, reproductive health service providers, and women from anti-choice violence and blockades exist in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Judge Harrington ruled that the law was unconstitutional because it prevented anti-choice protestors from approaching patients entering the clinic, but allowed abortion clinic employees and volunteers to approach patients. Reilly is arguing against the judge’s ruling and the opposition’s argument that the law violates protestors’ right to free speech, saying that the law is not a speech case but one of public safety. MA Planned Parenthood argues that the law protects women’s rights to obtain health care services “free from intimidation.”

Sources:

Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report - November 22, 2000 and NARAL/NARAL Foundation, ñWho Decides: A State-by-State Review of Abortion and Reproductive Rights,î 2000

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