Monday, June 24, 2013

Supremes: Do Pro-lifers Have Free Speech in Mass.?

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of a 2007 Massachusetts law that bans Christians from praying or talking to people while standing on public property if there's an abortion clinic door or driveway within 35 feet.  In 2009, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled the law to be necessary in order to protect the safety of the public from such Christians.

For background, read Massachusetts Bans Pro-life Sidewalk Counseling

Also read Pro-life Win: Court Rejects Abortionists' Buffer Zone Ordinance

Government must protect the public from Christians? Yes, because Obama's Army Says Christians are the Worst Terrorists

In separate cases, harassment of Pro-lifers costs money in Wyoming and Rockford, IL.

-- From "Supreme Court will hear appeal of law creating abortion buffer zone" by The Associated Press 6/24/13

The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from abortion opponents, who wanted the law thrown out. The law allows individuals to enter the buffer zone only to enter or leave the clinic or reach a destination other than the clinic.

Abortion opponents who regularly stand outside clinics in Boston, Worcester and Springfield claimed the law unfairly keeps them from engaging patients in conversations at a closer distance.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Gets U.S. High Court Review" by Greg Stohr, Bloomberg 6/24/13

Massachusetts enacted the law in 2007, strengthening an existing measure that had required a 6-foot buffer zone at abortion clinics. The new law makes it a crime to “knowingly enter or remain” in an area within 35 feet of a clinic entrance, exit or driveway. The measure exempts clinic employees and people entering or leaving the facility.

The justices will hear arguments and rule in their 2013-14 term, which starts in October.

The case is McCullen v. Coakley, 12-1168.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Supreme Court to hear abortion-related case for review" by Trisha Bee, CNN 6/24/13

The state’s “selective exclusion law” makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic “employees or agents … acting within the scope of their employment” to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within 35 feet of “a reproductive health care facility.”

Anti-abortion activists say the law has kept them from talking with patients approaching the clinic entrances. But a federal appeals court in January said “the right of the state to take reasonable steps to ensure the safe passage of persons wishing to enter health care facilities cannot seriously be questioned.”

The court had rejected a similar challenge to the law four years ago. Municipalities in Montana, Colorado, Florida, California and elsewhere have enacted similar “fixed” and “floating” buffer zone laws.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Supreme Court Will Determine if Pro-Lifers Have Free Speech at Abortion Clinics" by Steven Ertelt, 6/24/13

In February, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro rejected claims that the law, affecting abortion centers in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, infringed on First Amendment rights. In his ruling, he said the law “as applied is a valid regulation of the time, place, and manner of Plaintiffs’ speech.”

Attorney General Martha Coakley, an abortion advocate who defended the law, was happy with the ruling. She said at the time: “We are pleased that the court has upheld the Commonwealth’s buffer zone law, which enhances public safety and access to reproductive health care facilities, while preserving freedom of expression. The court agreed that the buffer zone leaves open ample opportunities for communication and civil engagement on the public ways outside the facilities.”

Anne Fox of Massachusetts Citizens for Life previously told LifeNews, “Unfortunately, it has become common in this country for laws to apply differently when they have to do with abortion. The idea that people cannot express their views within a 35 foot radius – i.e. a circle with a 70 foot diameter – of an abortion facility is un-American. It is also ludicrous. Given the huge size of the zone, people have been approached by the police for engaging in activities on their own properties, which happen to be next door to abortion facilities. This happened recently in Worcester,” she said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Obama Administration Targets Pro-lifers for Prosecution as well as White House Targets Pro-lifers with Lawsuits, BUT more recently Judges Counter Obama's Attacks on Pro-lifers

In addition, read IRS Tells Pro-lifers: Either Shut Up or Be Taxed