MA Supreme Court Rules Buffer Zones Constitutional
The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that a 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics would not be a violation of First Amendment free speech rights.
The state Senate is considering a bill that would bar individuals from a 25-foot zone around building entrances and driveways unless they had business in the building or were public officials. The Senate submitted the question to the Supreme Judicial Court for legal advice back in November. The SJC concluded that "the interests stated in this bill are substantial government interests."
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday in Hill v. Colorado on whether the 1993 Colorado law that establishes a protective 8-foot bubble around persons entering abortion clinics to protect patients and clinic workers from harassment or violates demonstrators' right to free speech. The Colorado law prohibits demonstrators within a 100 ft. of a health-care facility entrance from getting closer than 8 feet to individuals without their consent. Anyone who violates the law faces up to six months in jail and $750 fine.
Media Resources: Associated Press and Feminist Majority Foundation - January 26, 2000
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .