Supreme Court: Abortion ‘Buffer Zones’ Violate Freedom of Speech
The Supreme Court ruled this morning that putting up “buffer zones” around abortion clinics is a violation of the First Amendment.
The decision, which reversed a lower court ruling, found that a Massachusetts law that imposes a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics puts an unconstitutional limitation on protesters’ freedom of speech. Written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the unanimous decision in McCullen v. Coakley is an immediate victory for pro-life groups, which have fought hard for the right to protest outside of abortion clinics, and a loss for some pro-choice groups that sought to provide blanket protections for people attempting to enter and leave such facilities.
First Amendment purists on both sides of the ideological divide will also likely count the decision as an unadulterated “win” as it calls into question the constitutionality of other buffer zones, as well as other blanket restrictions on protesters’ movements.
The court objected…
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