Skip to content
  • Abortion clinic buffer zones’ fate in hands of high court

    The Boston Globe - 12/29/2013

    The country’s highest court does not say why it agrees to hear specific cases, but legal analysts say that this case combines hot-button issues in one question: abortion rights and free speech, and a state’s responsibility to balance the two.

    “That’s the issue the court will be looking at, and obviously [the state’s] argument is, ‘we’re trying to limit as little speech as possible by homing in on a problem,’ ” said Martha F. Davis, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law who has advocated in support of similar buffer zone laws.

    She added, “Here in Boston, it’s not an academic issue . . . You have a situation where there has been violence, and this has put an end to that.”

    The law, which prohibits any type of demonstration for or against abortion within a 35-foot zone around driveways and entrances of abortion clinics, had been unsuccessfully challenged in federal court in Massachusetts several times. A federal appeals court in California struck down parts of a similar law there in 2011, however, finding that the law was not neutral because police officers were one-sided in their enforcement, citing protesters but not people who were defending the patients.

  • Cookies on Northeastern sites

    This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand your use of our website and give you a better experience. By continuing to use the site or closing this banner without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies. To find out more about our use of cookies and how to change your settings, please go to our Privacy Statement.