Supreme Court strikes down abortion clinic buffer zone

by Richard Wolf, USA Today
June 26, 2014


WASHINGTON — Abortion remains an issue that divides the Supreme Court, but the justices had little disagreement Thursday in defending the free speech rights of abortion opponents.

The court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts went too far — literally — when it created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep demonstrators away from patients.

The decision united Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberals. The other conservatives would have issued a more sweeping ban on laws that restrict abortion protests.

Although the court had upheld an eight-foot buffer zone in Colorado in 2000, the Massachusetts law passed in 2007 went 27 feet farther. During oral arguments in January, that had even the court’s liberal, female justices wondering if the Bay State had gone too far. “That’s a lot of space,” Justice Elena Kagan said.

The victory by 77-year-old Eleanor McCullen and her fellow demonstrators didn’t tip the balance on the court over abortion as a medical procedure. Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, still stands. The justices this term refused to consider lower court decisions striking down Arizona’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and Oklahoma’s restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs and requirements for ultrasound tests.

13 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • wordwaryor says:

    A setback in the Democrat’s Progressive War on Unborn Children !

    1. I Seigel says:

      A “Progressive War on Unborn Children”? And capitalized, no less, like the “War on Terror” and the “War on Cancer”.
      How about calling it the Democrats’ “Progressive War on Preventing Childbirths to Women and Couples who REALLY Don’t Want and Can’t Afford a Child, or Who Have No Clue How to Be Parents and Shouldn’t Be Penalized the Rest of Their Lives for a Stupid Mistake and Why Should We Be Forcing Women to Have Crack Babies and Alcoholic Babies And Creating Welfare Mothers and Those Children Might Grow Up to Be Gang Members and Abusive Parents Themselves”? It certainly doesn’t have the same catchy ring as yours does, I have to admit.

      1. Mick says:

        You don’t have a right to a “want” when it concerns taking the rights, i.e. life, of another. If you don’t want a child, here’s a concept…get yourself fixed. If that doesn’t work, so sad, but deal with your responsibility. It’s no longer about what you want as soon as another life is growing inside you. There’s also this other great thing called ADOPTION.

        1. I Seigel says:

          So Mick, you’ve opened up a very good discussion here.

          First thing I’d like to ask you is: if “You don’t have a right to a “want” when it concerns taking the rights, i.e. life, of another”, then how do you feel about those “Stand Your Ground” laws? How do you feel about George Zimmerman killing that black kid? Did he have a “right” to take that kid’s life?

          I’ll have some other things to ask you when I have a few more minutes.

      2. fastfood says:

        Considering the many ways to prevent nearly every unwanted pregnancy and child in the first place, there is virtually not excuse for having created the child in the first place.

        1. I Seigel says:

          Which is why I used the word “mistake”.

  • awegweiser says:

    This court has now made it a lot easier to intimidate and threaten women intending to exercise their right to enter an abortion clinic – and not necessarily even for an abortion. The shreeking people who wish to impose their will on others fail to recognize that these clinics offer far more services to women. But they don’t give a rats ass about that, even if some of the appointments are about how to SAVE a fetus. Such is the true stupidity in some of the Right to Life” gang.

    1. Mick says:

      “Fetus”? I think you mean “baby”, asswipe. Interesting that to liberals, it suddenly becomes a baby if it’s a sea turtle or condor nest that’s destroyed…fucking hypocrites.

      1. I Seigel says:

        Mick, speaking as you did of hypocrites, let me ask you: I see you’re very concerned about the rights and well-being of an unborn child. That’s great, and I have no disagreement with you. So, does your concern for their rights and well-being also extend to after they’re born? Do you support universal pre-school care, medical care for children, and a decent public school education? If the kids take a wrong path, do you support drug treatment programs for youth, or gang intervention programs? Because if you REALLY want the government to step in and guarantee an unborn’s right to life, then you probably also support the government stepping in and supporting the BORN child’s life and well-being. Or am I guessing wrong?

        1. awegweiser says:

          I suggest Mick will ignore this – a lot easier to howl about “baby killers” but ignoring what happens after they are born.

          1. I Seigel says:

            It sounds like Mick has a strong opinion about this subject, so I’m trusting that he’ll share it with us and go into more detail about his thoughts and clear up my confusion.

          2. Mick says:

            Actually, no, I will reply and kill two liberal nitwit douche canoes with one stone of logic. The right to LIFE is one of those recognized under “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. This government was instituted for the protection of RIGHTS, and chiefly among these is LIFE. Attempting to drag your socialist banner-laden strawman of pseudo-intellectual deflection through the streets will not mitigate that fact. The duty to protect the right to life does not create a duty for government, i.e. the rest of us, to subsidize your socialist concepts of “benefits” from there on out. One has nothing to do with the other. According to your half-baked liberal logic (as most are), one would have a duty to subsidize the remaining care of anyone whom they ever stepped in and saved the life of. I don’t recall law enforcement or the fire departments ever setting up trust funds for the people they happened to have protected the life of previously, nor anyone positing such a stupid argument that they should either. You nitwits fail for want of logically consistent thoughts. Now go away, lest you further reveal your intellectual shortcomings.

          3. I Seigel says:

            Gee Mick, I was hoping you’d contribute an actual, logical argument here, and maybe respond to some of my questions above. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to settle for your name-calling-filled, knee-jerk, right wing “banner-laden strawman of pseudo-intellectual deflection”.

            Speaking of “strawman” – where in heck does this argument come from about law enforcements and fire departments setting up trust funds? Huh? Who said anything about that? You’re just making up something to shoot it down – THAT’S a “strawman” argument. Classic bull, Fox-style.

            I notice your reply didn’t really say anything about what government SHOULD do. You only said what it SHOULDN’T do. Your central point in all of your rant is, “The duty to protect the right to life does not create a duty for government, i.e. the rest of us, to subsidize your socialist concepts of “benefits” from there on out.” So what does the “duty to protect the right to live” create a duty for government TO do? Please explain, and preferably in a fully-baked, logical statement.

            Finally, my friend, a little Civics lesion. Your opening “stone of logic” is more like a snowflake. The government was NOT instituted for the purposes you quoted, the protection of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. The GOVERNMENT was created firstly to establish justice. The CONSTITUTION says: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The idea of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness is in a completely different document relating to the Colonies’ declaring their independence from Britain. Those words are NOT embedded in the Constitution.

            And what the heck is a “douche canoe”?

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