Supreme Court To Determine Constitutionality of MA Buffer Zone
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case deciding the legality of a 2007 Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot 'buffer zone' around abortion clinics preventing anti-abortion protesters from entering said buffer zone.
In January of this year, the 1st US. District Court of Appeals determined that a 2007 law establishing a 35-foot "buffer zone" around abortion clinic entrances, exits and driveways did not violate the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion protesters. Protesters claimed that the buffer zone prevented them from conversing with patients in a close proximity. Advocates argued that the law was necessary to protect both patients and clinic staff from anti-abortion intimidation and violence.
The 2007 law has been challenged in court repeatedly. An earlier version of the law was ruled constitutional in 2001 and 2004 also by the 1st US District Court of Appeals. When the law was revised in 2007, it was appealed and upheld in 2009.
The Supreme Court will revisit this decision during its next session, which starts in October. The case is McCullen v. Coakley, 12-1168.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .