The lawsuit filed on behalf of an evangelical couple and their high school children argues the buffer zone unconstitutionally blocks their ability to “counsel” patients entering reproductive health-care clinics.
What relatively peaceful anti-choice protesters may not understand is that their behavior is relative: They’re a physical representation of threats that have already been made, and in some cases executed, in the past and online.
Though the fate of buffer zone laws now rests with the Supreme Court, New Hampshire legislators decided not to wait to try to protect patients.
The issue here is safety. Buffer zones reduce the very real threats of violence and intimidation that abortion providers and their patients face every day.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the constitutionality of a Massachusetts buffer zone law. Conservatives see it as a chance to pounce on the idea that abortion patients deserve to be left alone as they enter clinics.
Although the entire docket has not yet been set, the next Supreme Court term is already shaping up to be historic, with decisions on abortion protests, legislative prayer, and state affirmative action, just to name a few.
On Monday the Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a Massachusetts law that protects clinics and patients from harassment violates protesters’ First Amendment rights.