Abortion-Rights Advocates: Supreme Court Decision On Buffer Zones Too Vague

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts law mandating a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics (see related story).

Carol Tracy of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia, says the Supreme Court decision was too vague in many ways.

“It’s so ambiguous that it doesn’t give clear guidance on exactly what kind of provisions will be permitted to protect the safety of patients going into clinics.”

Tracy says Pennsylvania has two zones: a 15-foot buffer zone for clinics in Pittsburgh and a 20-foot zone for clinics in Harrisburg. She says in Philadelphia, Civil Affairs police officers escort patients into clinics.

Tracy says violence at clinics has toned down a lot since the raucous protests of 20-years ago.

“The protesters at the clinics are not as violent and intimidating as they were in the 90’s, although one never knows who among the protesters might be the one with the gun.”

Tracy says in Massachusetts in the 90s’ two people were murdered and five others shot before the buffer zone was put in place.

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