Supreme Court Grants Case on Abortion Center Buffer Zones

Religion Today

Supreme Court Grants Case on Abortion Center Buffer Zones


The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a case in its next term on the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that designates a 35-foot-radius "buffer zone" around abortion centers, WORLD reports. According to the law, no one is allowed in the buffer zone but employees of the abortion facility, those coming and going from the facility, those on their way somewhere else, and law enforcement and emergency responders. Pro-life protesters had challenged the law, saying it violated their First Amendment rights. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the buffer zone law, saying it was a "narrowly tailored time-place-manner regulation that protects the rights of prospective patients and clinic employees without offending the First Amendment rights of others." In 2000, the last time the Supreme Court heard an abortion center buffer zone case, it upheld the law, but the composition of the court has changed since then.

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