For Immediate Release
NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts on Supreme Court Decision to Strike Down Buffer Zones in McCullen v. Coakley
WASHINGTON - Today, the Supreme Court struck down the Massachusetts law securing providers and patients with a 35-foot buffer zone around reproductive-health clinics in a unanimous opinion.
Said NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue:
“We're deeply disappointed in the decision of the Supreme Court today to overturn Massachusetts' buffer zone law. The law was supported by public safety officials whose goal is to protect women, doctors, and clinic workers from the relentless harassment and intimidation that they face daily. This movement has a long history of violence and has committed eight murders and 17 attempted murders since 1991. While the Supreme Court today acknowledged that these laws play an important role in protecting women and doctors, today the Justices made it more difficult for states to protect their citizens. Let's be clear: today's decision puts women and healthcare providers at greater risk. We will work to make sure that legislatures in states are focused on making clinics safe for women free of harassment, intimidation, and violent acts."
Said NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts Executive Director Megan Amundson:
“The buffer zone did exactly what it was intended to do: it prevented violence at clinics while allowing anti-choice protestors to express their views. Without it, the only tool we have left to combat clinic violence is to prosecute people after they have already committed violent acts. We know that prosecuting zealots does not deter them. But violence at clinics does deter women from accessing essential medical care. This decision turns back the clock to the days when women were too intimidated by protestors to seek medical care. Women’s health will suffer because of it. Every person in our state, and across the nation, deserves the right to access health care services free from violence, harassment, and intimidation.”
For more than 30 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has been the nation's leading advocate for privacy and a woman's right to choose. With more than one million members and supporters, NARAL Pro-Choice America is fighting to protect the pro-choice values of freedom and privacy. With the Supreme Court one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade and many state legislatures under anti-choice control, our work has never been more important.