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LWVMA Criticizes SCOTUS Decision in McCullen “Buffer Zone” Case

6/26/2014 BOSTON—The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is deeply disappointed by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, striking down as unconstitutional the Massachusetts law that establishes a 35-foot, content-neutral buffer zone around the entrance to reproductive health facilities.

“With this ruling, the Supreme Court has severely compromised the right of women to access reproductive health facilities without the threat of fear, intimidation, or physical harm.” said Anne Borg, co-president of the state League. “Today’s decision puts thousands of women and healthcare providers at greater risk.”

The law establishing a 35-foot buffer zone at reproductive health facilities was passed in 2007 to combat harassment and violence at Massachusetts clinics. Two clinic employees in Brookline were murdered in 1994.

“The Court’s decision in McCullen sends the wrong message to other states and may, unfortunately, embolden those who seek to prevent women from seeking reproductive health care,” said Borg.

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts joined an amicus brief in this case, along with 31 other organizations, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Massachusetts law establishing the buffer zone around reproductive health facilities.

The LWVMA’s position on women’s reproductive rights dates back to 1972. The League has joined several amicus briefs in abortion rights cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and was a co-plaintiff in a case against Operation Rescue for physically blocking clinics.