Massachusetts Senate Introduces Bill Responding to Supreme Court Buffer Zone Ruling


On Monday, the Massachusetts Senate filed a bill designed to strengthen the safety of individuals entering and exiting abortion clinics in the state. Called “An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities,” the bill was proposed in response to a June Supreme Court ruling that dealt a blow to buffer zone advocates.

SD 2106 was drafted with the support of the Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, state Attorney General Martha Coakley, and Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick. “Women must be able to access reproductive health care free from intimidation and threats,” Coakley said in a statement. “This bill protects those patients, and the employees providing their care,” added Gov. Patrick.

Pro-choice advocates say the bill would aim to protect people entering and leaving clinics, but would do so within the legal standards established by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month, which struck down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established a 35-foot protest-free buffer zone outside of clinics.

Specifically, the bill would ensure clear and safe passage to and from a facility by making it illegal to impede access, and by prohibiting the use of force to prevent access. Law enforcement would have the power to disperse groups of two or more people when they impede access to a facility. The dispersed group would then be required to stay 25 feet from the entrance for eight hours. Additionally, protesters would be prohibited from interfering with cars that are leaving or parking at a clinic.

Sen. Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester), the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement that the state must act quickly to address the safety concerns of people entering and exiting clinics.

“The Supreme Court’s recent decision has left Massachusetts in an emergency situation regarding staff and patients of reproductive health care centers,” said Sen. Chandler. “The Commonwealth has had actual experience with violence against staff and patients. Therefore, it is crucial to provide protections for the void left by the Supreme Court’s decision before further harassment, intimidation and violence occurs.”

In 1994, a receptionist at a Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts was shot dead by an anti-choice activist. After murdering her and wounding three others, the killer went straight to another clinic, where he shot dead the receptionist there and wounded two others. He was later lauded by anti-choice supporters, including Donald Spitz, the director of Pro-Life Virginia, who shouted “Thank you for what you did” into a megaphone.

According to the National Abortion Federation, between 1977 and 2013 there were at least 6,849 violent attacks against abortion providers in the United States and Canada, including eight murders, 42 bombings, 181 cases of arson, and 100 acid attacks.

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  • kitler

    But I thought that pro choicers were supposed to be the violent ones?

    • TheKnowerseeker

      “…the overwhelming amount of crime in front of abortion clinics involves threats and assaults against pro-lifers, and there have been numerous prosecutions for that. There are no prosecutions in 20 years against pro-lifers years [sic] for similar crimes.” — This is from MassResistance, whom I’m more inclined to believe than you.

      http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/14c/buffer-zone-bill/new-bill-SD2016.html

      • kitler

        Yeah?

        Pro choicers go around mass murdering pro life protestors?

      • fiona64

        You’re funny. BTW, when you try to delete a post? It still shows up.

      • StealthGaytheist

        You post a link from an antigay hate group. Yeah, that’s real credible.

      • JamieHaman

        Calling BS on this. Where are the crimes against forced birthers by pro-choicers? Where are the shootings of these so called peaceful protesters? NOT there.
        ONE pro life protester who was killed, was shot by a guy who claimed that it had nothing to do with the abortion industry. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/us/12slay.html?_r=0
        Maybe you should STFU.

    • TheKnowerseeker

      The lion’s share of pro-life people are not violent and shun those who are. However, pro-choice supporters are known for being very belligerent.

      • kitler

        Yeah, I’d be angry too if you screamed at me and called me a murderer as I went to get a cancer screening.

        • TheKnowerseeker

          “In 2012, abortions made up 93.8 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for only 5.6 percent (19,506) and 0.6 percent (2,197), respectively,” — http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/planned-parenthood-received-540.6-million-in-tax-dollars-performed-327166-a

          Planned Parenthood is about cancer screening?

          As for harassment through screaming: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/crowd-of-pro-aborts-chant-hail-satan-as-pro-lifers-sing-amazing-grace-at-te

          • kitler

            Liesitenews is not a source

            And yes, women are tested for
            Certain cancers at PP.

            They even get birth control. And diapers, for their children if poor

          • TheKnowerseeker

            “Liesitenews is not a source” — I think that’s up to individuals to decide for themselves, and they’re not the only source for these facts/factoids, though all such sources are indeed pro-life. However, after seeing the blatant bias of the mainstream media in favor of the gay agenda (even FOX!), as well as noticing that local news sources will often portray a story accurately while national news media routinely misrepresents such stories, I no longer consider MSM a (reliable) source. But you do, and you don’t subscribe to alternative news sources, so obviously we have nothing more to discuss.

            P.S.: This news article is also blatantly one-sided.

          • kitler

            Oh youre also an anti gay bigot.

            Big surprise there.

          • Jennifer Starr

            He’s also racist–was just skimming his comment history.

          • lady_black

            I’m shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you.

          • fiona64

            Quelle surprise.

          • fiona64

            the gay agenda

            What *is* this so-called gay agenda about which you homophobes constantly rant?

            None of my GLBT friends has the slightest clue, so I am hoping you can enlighten all of us.

          • expect_resistance

            What “Gay Agenda?” Are you into conspiracy theories too?

          • lady_black

            LOL. Gay agenda. What is that?

          • StealthGaytheist

            Gay agenda? And you want us to take you seriously?

          • Unicorn Farm

            “Liesitenews is not a source” — I think that’s up to individuals to decide for themselves, and they’re not the only source for these facts/factoids, though all such sources are indeed pro-life”

            Like my father always said, you can’t fix stupid.

          • EmmaLib

            http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/4013/9611/7243/Planned_Parenthood_Services.pdf

            Yes, I am repeating myself, it my first amendment right I am exercising.

          • J. C.

            That outfit is as much a source for the truth as your local pastor when he reads from the bible, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck or Faux news….but I bet you believe all of them only tell the truth and nothing but the truth.

          • P. McCoy

            So is lie site news but since when did the truth really matter to cult controlled religious fanatics!

          • EmmaLib

            They provide a wealth of services, they are what women need everywhere.. Here’s a link that breaks down how PP spends their time and cash! They do not reflect even marginally LifeSitenews fictional facts. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/4013/9611/7243/Planned_Parenthood_Services.pdf

          • fiona64

            LieSiteNews?

            BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • kitler
          • kmkirb

            Have you seen this one? If not I thought you might like to :)

            http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/

          • feminista

            Yep.

          • lady_black

            Yeah. You are conflating pregnancy services, and women’s health services. Every woman is not totes “pregnant” and Planned Parenthood is not a birthing center.

          • Sunnyinwyoming

            % of services provided from Planned Parenthoods Website:
            Contraception: 34%
            STI/STD Testing and Prevention: 41%
            Cancer Screening: 10%
            Other Women’s Health Services: 11%
            Other Services: 1%

            Abortion: 3%

            http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/4013/9611/7243/Planned_Parenthood_Services.pdf

          • fiona64

            And that, for those who may not have been paying attention, is why LieSiteSpews is *not* a source.

          • godlessveteran

            Oh, no! FACTS! :)

          • Majik53

            scary….

          • godlessveteran

            Outright lies from a lying antichoice terrorist sympathizer website.

          • EmmaLib

            ass backwards, you and your source.

          • EmmaLib
          • J. C.

            Quoting this outfit and presenting it as a place to find truth is the same as if you would say Fox news is a place to find truth…

      • Jennifer Starr

        Yeah, I bet if I got in your way while you were going to receive health-care you’d be pretty annoyed too. Just like I am when I’m going for a pap-smear and I have some nut who follows me and tells me not to kill my non-existent ‘baby’.

      • expect_resistance

        Bullying and harassment is violence. Anti-choice rhetoric has incited violence against abortion providers, staff, and women seeking reproductive health care.

        Belligerence is not violence. Anti-choicers are threatening women’s access to seeking care.

        • senzie

          Repeat what you just said but replace anti-choice with pro-choice as in:
          Pro-choice rhetoric has incited violence against pro-life supporters.
          Pro-choicers are threatening people’s right to free speech and exercise of religion.

          One of the saddest episodes I ever saw was a news report of abortion rights activists protesting a Catholic Church, screaming obscenities at families, and blocking entrance to people trying to attend an ordination ceremony.

          Bullying and harassment are violence. Pro-abortion activists are bullies too.

          • goatini

            The Catholic Church can dish it out (and has for millennia), but they sure can’t take it.

          • P. McCoy

            You get what you give lads and lassies. I think that the remains of women killed because they were unable to get abortions, pictures of clincs bombed by ‘pro life’ terrorists and of course pictures of sex predators as well as photos of victims of anti LGBT violence (calling them dysfunctional as well as active participants in grievously ‘ sinful’ acts tends to bring out violent haters who think that attacking such people is doing ” God’s work”) ought to carried in front of these poltical centers of hate posing as churches. They should be stripped of their tax exemptions and kept under surveillance as abetters and supports of Domestic Terrorists and shelters of child and youth molesters.

          • fiona64

            Citations needed. For all of it.

          • catseye

            Yeah, riiiiiiiight……in forced-birth bizarro world.
            (Apologies if this was intended as snark.)

      • lady_black

        I’m allowed to be belligerent.

      • cjvg

        I really don’t care what you want or think. I did not ask for your opinion or advise on my personal (medical) decisions, and I owe you no explanation or any of my time!

        You are beyond bounds that you think you have the right to “counsel” me without my consent! It is in no way belligerent to ignore and refuse people like you who impose on others peoples private lives and on matters they will never feel the consequences of.

        It is extremely arrogant to call those who DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FORCE OTHERS TO LIVE ACCORDING TO THEIR PERSONAL BELIEFS belligerent if they defend CHOICE!

      • Ella Warnock

        And belligerent does not = violent. It is what it is.

      • Beatrix S.L

        “The lion’s share of pro-life people are not violent and shun those who are.’

        LOL. I remember “pro life” message boards lighting up like xmas trees after Tiller’s murder.

    • Beatrix S.L

      Remind me how many clinics pro choicers have bombed and how many anti abortion doctor’s we’ve killed?

      • VeggieTart

        Maybe we should picket outside crisis pregnancy centers screaming, “They’re lying to you! They’re tricking you!” and give them information on REAL clinics with actual medical facilities.

  • StealthGaytheist

    Maybe clinics could have moats, and sharks with fricken laser beams on their heads.

    In the meantime, this will help keep the crazies at bay.

  • TheKnowerseeker

    The problem with the bill is that it gives cops the final say as to whether abortion clinic customers are being “impeded”, and the police in Massachusetts are known for siding with liberal causes. As the bill states: ‘ “Impede”, to obstruct, block, detain or render passage impossible, unsafe or unreasonably difficult.’ So we have the words “detain” and “Unreasonably difficult”: Can a police officer decide that a customer is being “detained” by a pro-life person calling out to them and catching their attention, thus “detaining” them from entering the clinic through conversation? Or how about if a police officer decides that the existence on the premises of attention-grabbing signs are making entering the clinic “unreasonably difficult” because they pull customers attention away from the clinic doors?

    I’m not a lawyer, but according to the group MassResistance, this bill is even more unconstitutional than the original law struck down unanimously by the Supreme Court.

    More about the bill, including its text: http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/14c/buffer-zone-bill/new-bill-SD2016.html

    • P. McCoy

      Pro lifers are Domestic Terrorists who should be maced if they approach anyone without that person’s permission, sued into penury and their so called religious groups exposed as political groups that should be taxed, penalized and exposed as aiders and abetters in act of terror. The criminals as terrorists should do solitary confinement in Federal Prisons. Only such acts will break those bent on forcing their religious fanaticism on others whose medical choices should be none of their business.

    • fiona64

      Getting in someone’s face is impeding them. Screaming epithets is impeding them. Shoving pamphlets into someone’s hand is impeding them.

      Every single thing you so-called “sidewalk counselors” do is nothing *but* impeding people.

      And MassResistance? Really? You’re certainly making all of us laugh today.

    • lady_black

      Here you go: You cannot stand in my way. You cannot scream in my face. You cannot block cars from entering parking lots. You cannot even lay down and make people go over or around you. You can call out all you want to. You can attempt to hand someone a pamphlet. You cannot touch them. You people do not know why someone is entering a clinic. It might be for an abortion, or it might be for a pap test. It might be for contraception. Or they may simply be picking up a friend to give them a ride. It’s not your business, and they owe you not one millisecond of their attention. It never occurs that if someone wants to talk to you, they will approach you. You want to talk to them and that’s that. Here’s your problem. She doesn’t have to listen to you. And if you get scary, you might get a face full of pepper spray.

    • StealthGaytheist

      So you’re upset that you won’t be able to terrorize women without consequenses. Poor you.

    • Unicorn Farm

      So the problem you have with this bill is that the police have to exercise judgment when they enforce it.

      Do you have a problem with other laws that call for such judgment? Why or why not?

      If you’re concerned that it could be applied unfairly by the police, don’t you think that a simple, straight forward line in the sand (like, um, a buffer zone), would be better? After all, it removes all discretion from the cops.

      “I’m not a lawyer”
      This is clear.

  • TheKnowerseeker

    “In 1994, a receptionist at a Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts was shot dead by an anti-choice activist. After murdering her and wounding three others, the killer went straight to another clinic, where he shot dead the receptionist there and wounded two others. He was later lauded by anti-choice supporters, including Donald Spitz, the director of Pro-Life Virginia, who shouted “Thank you for what you did” into a megaphone.” — Donald Spitz is a terrorist, and most pro-lifers want nothing to do with him. Your average pro-life advocate today is a little ol’ grandmother.

    • kitler

      Bullshit

      Pro lifers come here and threaten to kill us.

      • TheKnowerseeker

        Got any links to videos (such as on Youtube) depicting that?

        • kitler

          No, we don’t have videos of lifesite sickos coming to this website and threatening to stalk and kill us. That’s because it’s in print.

          • TheKnowerseeker

            People say all kinds of things on the Internet. Where is the recent (since the 1994 terrorist attack) video of pro-life people at abortion clinics threatening to murder staff?

          • kitler

            Don’t try that “its in the past so it doesn’t count” bullshit on me.

          • fiona64

            He also shouldn’t try the “they were all lone wolves” bullshit that these idiots try to pull, either.

          • Jennifer Starr

            January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed.

            Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.

            October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death with a high-powered rifle at his home in Amherst, New York.[11] His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Slepian’s murder after being apprehended in France in 2001.

            May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Scott Roeder as Tiller served as an usher at a church in Wichita, Kansas.[12]

            October 28, 1997: Dr. David Gandell of Rochester, New York was injured by flying glass when a shot was fired through the window of his home.

            May 21, 1998: Three people were injured when acid was poured at the entrances of five abortion clinics in Miami, Florida.[27]

            October 1999: Martin Uphoff set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, causing US$100 worth of damage. He was later sentenced to 60 months in prison.[28]

            May 28, 2000: An arson at a clinic in Concord, New Hampshire, resulted in several thousand dollars’ worth of damage. The case remains unsolved.[29][30][31] This was the second arson at the clinic.[32]

            September 30, 2000: John Earl, a Catholic priest, drove his car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA had approved the drug RU-486. He pulled out an ax before being forced to the ground by the owner of the building, who fired two warning shots from a shotgun.[33]

            June 11, 2001: An unsolved bombing at a clinic in Tacoma, Washington, destroyed a wall, resulting in $6,000 in damages.[28][34]

            July 4, 2005: A clinic Palm Beach, Florida, was the target of an arson. The case remains open.[28]

            December 12, 2005: Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe threw a Molotov cocktail at a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana. The device missed the building and no damage was caused. In August 2006, Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison, and Dunahoe to one year. Hughes claimed the bomb was a “memorial lamp” for an abortion she had had there.[35]

            September 11, 2006 David McMenemy of Rochester Hills, Michigan, crashed his car into the Edgerton Women’s Care Center in Davenport, Iowa. He then doused the lobby in gasoline and started a fire. McMenemy committed these acts in the belief that the center was performing abortions; however, Edgerton is not an abortion clinic.[36] Timemagazine listed the incident in a “Top 10 Inept Terrorist Plots” list.[37]

            April 25, 2007: A package left at a women’s health clinic in Austin, Texas, contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or death. A bomb squad detonated the device after evacuating the building. Paul Ross Evans (who had a criminal record for armed robbery and theft) was found guilty of the crime.[38]

            May 9, 2007: An unidentified person deliberately set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia.[39]
            December 6, 2007: Chad Altman and Sergio Baca were arrested for the arson of Dr. Curtis Boyd’s clinic in Albuquerque. Baca’s girlfriend had scheduled an appointment for an abortion at the clinic.[40][41]

            January 22, 2009 Matthew L. Derosia, 32, who was reported to have had a history of mental illness[42] rammed an SUV into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota.[43]

            January 1, 2012 Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, firebombed the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida, with a Molotov cocktail; the fire gutted the building. Rogers told investigators that he was motivated to commit the crime by his opposition to abortion, and that what more directly prompted the act was seeing a patient enter the clinic during one of the frequent anti-abortion protests there. The clinic had previously been bombed at Christmas in 1984 and was the site of the murder of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett in 1994.[44]

            April 1, 2012 A bomb exploded on the windowsill of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, resulting in a fire that damaged one of the clinic’s examination rooms. No injuries were reported.

            April 11, 2013 A Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington, Indiana, was vandalized with an axe.[45]

            November 2001: After the genuine 2001 anthrax attacks, Clayton Waagner mailed hoax letters containing a white powder to 554 clinics. On December 3, 2003, Waagner was convicted of 51 charges relating to the anthrax scare.

          • FoxieJD

            Thank you for listing this. S/He keeps asking for examples, and I was getting heated.

          • vulgarism

            Of course, anti-choicers just deny it, and say that unless they are murdering as many pro-choicers as we murder ‘babies’ then it doesn’t count!!!!!!

        • StealthGaytheist

          How can you have videos of people coming to a website?

          • Majik53

            ahhh.. because the stupid is strong in this one…..

    • Jennifer Starr

      I don’t buy it. I saw how so-called ‘moderate’ pro-lifers gave their tacit support to Scott Roeder–Jill Stanek wanted him to get a lesser sentence. And Cheryl Sullenger, head of Operation Rescue, attempted to firebomb a clinic once.

      • Ella Warnock

        Jill Stanek is a narcissistic, publicity whoring terrorist.

    • fiona64

      The majority of anti-choicers dance up and down with glee when one of their own murders a physician, a patient, a healthcare provider, or destroys a clinic and steals records.

      Your :”average pro-life advocate” is an older white male, not a “little ol’ grandmother,” no matter how many times you try to tell that lie.

    • expect_resistance

      Why is it that I see mostly men in front of clinic? Creepy old men looking at young sexually active women.

    • P. McCoy

      Was that a grandmother that trashed a clinic in Montana? Seems more like a Domestic Terrorist to me, inspired by you other terrorists. You ALL need to be in Federal Prisons , rotting in solitary confinement with families and supporters sued into abject poverty!

    • cjvg

      Did I ask that “grandmother” to talk to me, did I walk up to her and ask for advise? NO, well right there is your answer, I don’t want, need or like to talk to you! Stop assaulting perfect strangers on the sidewalk and stop your unbecoming attempts to pry into my private life. If you are in such tremendous needs for sexual details call a sexline, I do not have to entertain you or your “grandmother”

    • Ella Warnock

      What sort of ‘counseling’ credentials does lil’ ol’ granny have? People usually call counselors on the phone for an appointment; they don’t walk down the street and wait for a ‘counselor’ to chase them down and shove propaganda into their mitts. Funny how that works.

  • TheKnowerseeker
    • expect_resistance

      No, that’s an opinion piece not news. Why is it that it’s all men outside the clinic? Do these men get their rocks off watching sexually active women go to the clinic. Do they get off on harassing and bullying these women. What a bunch of sick freaks.

      • StealthGaytheist

        Men seem to get hysterical over the notion that women might reject their sperm. That may explain why so many antichoicers are male.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Very true. Just recently on this board a poster named Thomas was whining and claiming that his rights to his ‘progeny’ had been abrogated by abortion. Though in the end it turned out that none of that had happened and that he was lying through his teeth.

    • FoxieJD

      As already mentioned, that’s an op-ed, not a news article. Also, it pretty much IS from a pro-life website, as it was penned by the Director of Operation Rescue:Boston, “a Faith-based pro-life activist organization, which attempts to rescue pre-born children threatened with death by abortion and to bring the Gospel of Life into the public square. We rely on the Grace of God and employ non-violent, First Amendment-protected means of expression.” (taken from the “OR Mission” page)

  • senzie

    In 1994 a nutcase walked into a building and shot people. That is what the urgency is based on?
    In his testimony in favor of this bill, the Police Commissioner couldn’t cite any other specific instances or give any idea of costs.
    What this article doesn’t say is that the bill allows individuals to sue individuals for feeling intimidated. I think this even includes patrons of the Star Market next door to Planned Parenthood to sue.
    This draconian threat means this will probably be shot down by the Supreme Court too, after bogging down our courts with agenda driven lawsuits and intimidation and increased costs to the taxpayer.
    Note SCOTUS left intact the “bubble” zone buffer law that another state had enacted but Massachusetts is proposing something much much more aggressive

    • fiona64

      Your right to shriek at people does not include the right to a captive audience.

      • senzie

        You are right that the right to free speech does not include a right to a captive audience. Never has.
        Which in turn must mean you are opposed to the bill working it’s way through the legislature as unnecessary and costly.
        Since there are already laws on the books making it illegal to detain people even if they are just speaking to them, you must oppose any legislation to create a new buffer zone as unnecessary.

        • Jennifer Starr

          People walking into the clinic can see and hear you just as well behind a buffer zone. If they wish to talk to you, they will approach you. Your free speech is not infringed.

        • Unicorn Farm

          “Since there are already laws on the books making it illegal to detain people even if they are just speaking to them, you must oppose any legislation to create a new buffer zone as unnecessary.”
          So is this why you oppose all buffer zones, presumably?

    • Tweetiebird57

      Why shouldn’t I have the right to sue someone that intentionally trespasses in my personal space and violates my right to my privacy when it comes to my healthcare? Tell me anywhere else that this type of intimidation and harassment would every be tolerated. What if these same people were to start picketing fertility clinics and exposing patients and their spouses, and clinic staff, to this same kind of harassment and bullying. Think about it.
      Since when is our private medical information and decisions up for debate in the public square? What right does anyone have to go up to a complete stranger on the street and reprimand, harass, “counsel”, or intimidate, bully, or coerce them into changing their mind about their medical decisions? Quite frankly, if someone did that to me, I would tell them to get out of my face and if they didn’t I would knock them on their behind. It’s unacceptable that anyone believe that they have the right to interfere in someone else’s medical decision and if it takes suing the whole ignorant lot of them, including religious organizations that fund them, then we should do it.

      • senzie

        Your tyrannical rant aside…

        The issue at hand is should a proposed law empower individual citizens with interpretation and enforcement of a law, that is vigilantism.

        The buffer zone law was struck down on the basis of freedom of speech. This law states that some speech is more free than other speech and some agenda driven nutcase gets to decide what speech is allowable. There are plenty of ignorant, abortion rights nutcases. They are the same ones who conflate freedom of speech with medical privacy issues.

        If you want to see where this type of harassment and intimidation is not only tolerated but applauded, try hanging out with pro-lifers, immigration advocates, homeless living in shelters, people living in poverty…

        • Tweetiebird57

          Tyrannical? Excuse me, answer my question. Since when does anyone have the right to intrude in someone’s private space as they go about their business in a public space? Answer the question. Where else does this occur, where else is this even allowed???
          Let’s talk about freedom of speech for a moment, freedom of speech doesn’t give the right to anyone to accost someone and force them to listen to their speech. As other’s have pointed out to you, buffer zones are intended to prevent protesters from violating the personal space of people on the street making their way to and from health clinics. Free speech never necessitated that anyone be allowed to approach, or get in the face of anyone, does it? This isn’t about preventing someone from protesting, or gathering in groups, they can still do all of that from a safe distance. This is, and should always be, about a private citizens right to go about their business in the public square without being accosted, coerced, intimidated, bullied, or having their privacy invaded by complete strangers.
          It’s ridiculous that in this day and age women still cannot go about in public without being accosted. We don’t owe anybody the right to interfere in our business, we don’t owe anybody the right to try to change our mind, to speak to us, or to invade our privacy in that way.
          The issue at hand is, and always has been, the right of women to decide what they do with their own bodies, and NO ONE has the right to interfere, EVER.
          You make absolutely no sense with your last paragraph, what does any of that have to do with the topic that we are talking about? Who intimidates and harasses homeless people? Or forced-birthers? Here’s the thing, free speech doesn’t entitle anyone the right to no consequences for that speech, free speech is only protected from government interference, and even that is not absolute, nor should it be.

          • senzie

            You are a true zealot.

          • Jennifer Starr

            You didn’t answer her question. Why should a stranger have the right to accost me while I’m going to a health clinic?

          • vulgarism

            Answer Jennifer’s question please.

          • goatini

            Stalking, harassment, bullying, and unwanted and intrusive meddling (labeled “sidewalk counseling” by zealots), upon innocent female patients attempting to avail themselves of legal medical services, are not only unreasonable, they are indefensible in a reasonable society that respects the RIGHTS of its fellow citizens.

          • catseye

            Then GO THE F*CK AWAY!

        • goatini

          So harassment and intimidation of innocent female patients attempting to avail themselves of legal medical care is just fine with you. Got it.

        • lady_black

          Yeah you have a right to “free speech.” Your problem is that nobody has to listen to you. And if you put your hands on me, well, it’s on! I will leave you rolling on the sidewalk in pain.

        • P. McCoy

          Pro life fanatics are Domestic Terrorists that need to be behind bars in solitary confinement in Federal Prisons and individuals, families and political allies masking as churches and.’religious organizations’ should be taxed and sued into ABJECT POVERTY!

          • catseye

            Exactly right, but _please_ call them forced-birthers or anti-choice.

        • fiona64

          some agenda driven nutcase

          Sounds like every anti-choicer I’ve ever encountered …

    • goatini

      Where the “intimidation” is actually occurring, is outside reproductive health care facilities, at which self-appointed stalkers, harassers and intimidators gather to harass innocent patients attempting to avail themselves of LEGAL medical care.

      Why aren’t they outside fertility clinics instead, protesting against destruction of embryos – which, just on the basis of sheer volume, would be FAR more productive?

      Only ONE reason – the self-appointed stalkers, harassers and intimidators derive pleasure from harassing innocent women.

  • Majik53

    Tucson has a diaper bank that communicates with the food bank here.

    • Carli Russell

      I have heard similar things for other cities with diaper banks. I wish the Greater Boston Food Bank did that here.

  • Ella Warnock

    A lovely excerpt from a story elsewhere on the interwebs:

    “At a station with a ton of transfers that can be pretty confusing if
    you’re not familiar with the system, there was a huge group of them
    (which included kids…I hate this indoctrination) clogging things up,
    confused on how to get somewhere. The hubbub of confusion was going on
    during a long wait between trains going in a particular direction (the
    system kind of blows). In the midst of the confusion and wait, a bunch
    of them had put down their gross signs and went to look at a system
    map/socialize/ect. No one was paying attention, so I moved quickly, and
    onto the track went their glossy, expensive printed signs covered with
    fetuses.

    It was nice riding away from them in the train heading the other direction, knowing the train was crushing their signs.”

    Well played, commuter. Well played.

    • kmkirb

      Kudos, you go girl. Stupendous :)

    • VeggieTart

      Hopefully the trains were not too badly damaged by running over the debris on the tracks.

      • Ella Warnock

        ;^)

  • Tweetiebird57

    No one should ever have the right to accost complete strangers on the street and invade their privacy as they go about their business. Health clinics provide healthcare and there should be laws that make it illegal to accost and trespass on anyone’s privacy as they enter or exit any healthcare establishment. How dare anyone think that their free speech rights give them the right to trample on the rights of anyone else!

    This is not about free speech or religious freedom, it’s about the erosion of our civil rights and the trespass of religious beliefs into our secular society and it’s high time we started being just as aggressive as these groups in our push back against their trespass. I guarantee when we start getting in their faces and video tape their actions, start taking down their car license plate numbers and start showing up at their homes, in their neighborhoods and post signs showing the public their behavior, it will stop.

    • Ella Warnock

      Word.

    • kmkirb

      Yep, sounds like my mantra almost. It’s Domestic Terrorism. It’s all about control. Someone getting in your face invading your space, your privacy, & your own healthcare decisions is strictly about control. Do not take it. They don’t care about women, they only care about dictating & controlling you. They are nothing more than selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, peeping tom, busy body control freaks.
      They need to be sued for trying to invade HIPPA, & for threatening other people with hate speech & bodily harm or death. Bodily harm & death threats, such as “Shoot her between the eyes?” Get that on film. Take it to court & sue them for fear, mental anguish, etc. I’m sick of hearing about restricting their 1st Amendment rights. No one is restricting them when you can hear them from a mile away.

      Do not ever feel guilty for the choices that you must make & live with in your life. These people don’t live your life. They don’t walk in your shoes, they are not your parents, they will never have to pay your debts, they don’t deserve any respect whatsoever for meddling in another person’s very private matters, & they most assuredly are not God. Only God has the power to judge, so when they’re out their professing what God would say, they at the very same time are denying His Word. False prophets with forked tongues, & wolves in sheep’s clothing is what they are. And I’d be saying so out loud. Get in my way & touch me, I’d body slam your ass.

    • lady_black

      They don’t have that right. You can tell them to go f*ck themselves in the middle of Time Square.

  • Ella Warnock

    Just stand there and pray quietly, eh? Well, behold this twat:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpHPFIxscOY&feature=youtu.be

    Happy FATHER’S day, goddammit!

    • vulgarism

      What losers.

  • vulgarism