A unanimous Supreme Court vote today ruled that pro-life advocates have the right to speak against abortion directly in front of abortion clinics. A previous law in Massachusetts prohibited pro-life activists from free speech within a 35-foot “buffer zone” of abortion clinics.
Supreme Court justices ruled that the previous law was a violation of the First Amendment’s right to Freedom of Speech. According to the ruling, the buffer zone “restricts access to ‘public way[s]’ and ‘sidewalk[s],’ places that have traditionally been open to speech activities.”
President of Students for Life of America Kirstan Hawkins said, “Today’s Supreme Court ruling in McCullen v. Coakley is wonderful news for all Americans because it upholds our crucial First Amendment rights of free speech but perhaps no more important than for women considering abortion because it frees sidewalk counselors at abortion facilities to be able to offer compassionate and caring alternatives.
“While the ruling is great news for the free speech of anti-abortion advocates, this isn’t about us. This is about giving women the opportunity to be informed of all of their options and isn’t that what the pro-abortion movement is all about? If Planned Parenthood and their allies truly favored choice and not their pocketbooks, they would be elated at this decision as well. Because if abortion is right and harms no one, then why not give the woman a chance at choosing life by presenting her options she may not even know about? Sidewalk counselors can’t stop women from having abortions, but they can offer information, resources, and just a listening ear to those young women who feel desperate and alone.
“Because of this ruling striking down the buffer zone and upholding our constitutional rights, pro-life students across the nation will continue to be that compassionate lifeline for women in their most desperate hour, helping her to choose life for both her and her child.”
Publication date: June 26, 2014