WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to strike down a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics.
Liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings about the law during arguments at the high court Wednesday. They questioned the size of the zone and whether the state could find less restrictive ways of ensuring patient access and safety.
No one has been prosecuted under the 2007 law, which state officials and clinic employees have said has resulted in less congestion outside the clinics.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments one week from today in a case challenging a Massachusetts law that establishes a protest-free zone around abortion clinics. Thirty groups have filed briefs in the case including Planned Parenthood.
A political controversy involving the issue of abortion has erupted this summer at the state’s ethics commission. It stems from whether some not-for-profit groups should be granted exemptions from publicly disclosing their donors.
The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, known as JCOPE, is charged with increasing financial transparency when it comes to politicians and the groups who lobby them.
The legislature left Albany last week with some unfinished business. They did not agree on New York Governor Andrews Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, and Cuomo says at least one house should return to pass some of the bill’s provisions.
Women’s groups are putting pressure on the State Senate’s ruling coalition to take up Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes an abortion rights provision.
Senator DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican and Chair of the Finance Committee, said in an interview with public radio and television that most New York women aren’t that interested in the proposal, “and would not even lose a night’s sleep about expanding abortion rights”.