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Buffer Zones

The Supreme Court has struck down a Massachusetts Law that created a "buffer zone" around the state's Abortion clinics. The law prevented sidewalk counsellors from adequately providing access to incoming patients.

The Court held that the Massachusetts law violated the First Amendment. The 2007 Law discriminated against peaceful pro-life activists by prohibiting them from "entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent" to a stand-alone abortion facility. But the law did not apply to everyone. Abortion clinic employees were able to enter the "zone" and speak with women and encourage them to have abortions.

The "buffer zone" only applied to those against abortion and allowed the police to arrest and charge any person engaged in pro-life advocacy. Actions against the law included speaking, praying, wearing t-shirts, signs, leaflets and making approaches to women entering the abortion centre. The law banned all methods of communicating a pro-life message on the pavement.

How extraordinary that in a country where the First Amendment should be most protected, in a public space, that pro-lifers were silenced for so long.

In the United Kingdom, no such buffer law exists and free speech is strongly enshrined in law. It is only at certain times that the free speech of pro-lifers has been challenged.

This post first appeared on Discover Happiness, please read the originial post: here

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Buffer Zones


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