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Mass. Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Passes First Test

On a weekend marked by the Canadian Remembrance Day, which historically has been marred by abortion clinic violence, a new Massachusetts state law that creates an 18-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics endured its first test. Two hundred pro-choice and anti-choice demonstrators met at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Allston, MA, on Saturday, one day after the law went into effect. Anti-choice protestors declared the law to be in violation of their First Amendment rights, because the law prevents them from approaching anyone entering the clinic without that person’s consent. However, in January 2000, Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the buffer zone around abortion clinics was not a violation of free speech rights. Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to mandate buffer zones for abortion clinics.

Sources:

Boston Globe _ November 12, 2000; Feminist Majority Foundation _ April 19, 1999 & January 27, 2000

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