|Eleanor McCullen, the plaintiff on the “bufffer zone”|
Freedom of speech and assemble are rights we as Americans hold dear. However, for quite some time, these principle ideas have been challenged.
Pro-Abortion advocates who run abortion clinics have taken Pro-Life people to court claiming they are harassing their clients and staff. In reality, these Pro-Life people just stand outside, pray, offer counseling and other services with the intention of helping women make an educated choice.
This of course is threatening to those who support abortion. If they have no clients; if these Pro-Life counselors convince women not to abort, then they will lose money. It’s all about the money. In order to counter this, they have gotten activist judges to side with them in creating “buffer zones” meant to keep Pro-life advocates away – far away. These “buffer zones” pretty much pushed people onto the streets making it nearly impossible to counsel women or even protest. This of course is the intention of the zone.
The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court with the case of McCullen v. Coakley. The Court heard the case and decided UNANIMOUSLY that these “buffer zones” were unconstitutional and had to go. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests.” He is correct! The space outside of any clinic, home or store is public domain. Anyone can stand on it, walk on it, protest, pray or whatever as long as he/she is not breaking quality of life laws. To force Pro-Life people to stand over 35 feet away is a violation of the First Amendment.
Once again the Supreme Court got it right, but the decision is not perfect. Nevertheless, now Americans can exercise their freedom of speech and assembly in front of abortion clinics in order to save women and children from the evil that masquerades as “healthcare” – abortion.
For the official text of the decision, visit: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1168_6k47.pdf
|The “Buffer Zone” extends right onto the street!|