The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a 1993 Colorado law which prohibits anti-abortion protesters from approaching within eight feet of people entering health-care clinics, unless the person consents. Three anti-abortion protesters have challenged the law, claiming that it violates their freedom of speech. Supporters of abortion rights argue that the law protects patients’ privacy and safety while allowing ample opportunity for free speech. Justice Department lawyer Barbara D. Underwood, arguing in Colorado’s support, stated that “there is a problem at health-care facilities, a problem of intimidation and violence.”
Eighteen states are backing the Colorado law, which was upheld last year by the Colorado Supreme Court. The justices are expected to rule by July. At the oral argument today, one of the justices noted that all the law does is prohibit people from chasing women who don’t want to listen to them.