WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a Massachusetts law that creates a buffer zone around abortion clinics to inhibit anti-abortion and pro-life protests.
Reuters reported that several Supreme Court justices were unsure whether it is constitutional and an impediment to the freedom of speech.
The law was passed in 2007 and pro-life advocates said it violated their freedom of speech laws under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Even liberal justice Elena Kagan said that parameters of the law were too broad, such as the restriction zone of the mandated 35-feet no-entry zone for protesters. Even if it is overturned, the state will probably enact what Reuters called “a new, less-restrictive statute.”
The reason behind the court’s major concerns was how the law does not separate protesters seeking to disrupt an abortion clinic and those who calmly and quietly try to counsel and dissuade women from having abortions. The Supreme Court upheld a similar buffer-zone law in the state of Colorado back in 2000. Five of the justices were present for that Colorado case.