Buffer Zone


In the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision nullifying Massachusetts’ reproductive facilities buffer zone law, the city of Burlington Vermont is temporarily suspending its buffer zone.


Massachusetts officials who support protest-free zones around abortion clinics say they will try to craft new rules in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that the state's 35-foot buffer zone violated the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office argued before the court to keep the buffer zone, said she was disappointed but would continue fighting to make sure women had access to health care.


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.


In July 2012, the city of Burlington, Vermont passed an ordinance creating a 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive health facilities in the city. Six women who regularly gather to pray and protest at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England sued the city, and their lawyer is seeking records from Planned
Parenthood. But the organization says the request is intrusive and irrelevant to the court case.