The US 1st Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Massachusetts law on Friday, allowing a 35-foot safety buffer zone between protestors and abortion clinic entrances. The law, established in 2007, protects clinic patients and staff from harassment.
Five anti-choice protesters originally filed the lawsuit on the grounds that the safety zones violate their right to free speech. In 2008, US District Judge Joseph Tauro rejected their request and they filed the most recent appeal.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the law does not infringe on protestors' free speech rights and applies to all protestors no matter their viewpoint. The law is described as "content-neutral," reported the Boston Globe. The ruling also stated that the law "represents a permissible response by the Massachusetts Legislature to what it reasonably perceived as a significant threat to public safety."
"For too long, patients and staff had to endure in-your-face screaming and harassment just to get to doctor's appointments," Angus McQuilken, vice president of public affairs for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe in 2008 after the original suit was filed. "This 35-foot zone is more than reasonable."
Media Resources: Boston Globe 2/21/08, 7/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/26/08
12/12/2013 Feminist Majority Celebrates Introduction of Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) - WASHINGTON -- Feminist Majority today celebrates and applauds Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for introducing the critically-needed paid family medical leave legislation.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) will allow workers to take paid time off to address a serious illness of their own, a spouse, parent or child or to care for a new baby or adopted child. . . .
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The Senate confirmed Patricia Millett by a 56-38 vote on Tuesday. . . .