SCOTUS Be Damned, Mass. Governor Hatches Abortion Clinic Security Bill

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick doesn’t trust the Supreme Court of the United States and he’s tightening security around abortion clinics in his state to prove it.

Patrick will reportedly have a new bill on his desk this month, according to the AP, that will “help protect women entering clinics while respecting the rights of protesters.”

Last week, the SCOTUS struck down the state’s 35-foot buffer zone law in a unanimous vote saying it really ruined anti-abortion protestors' ability to yell slurs at women during one of the most stressful times in their lives because, free speech. The SCOTUS’ decision also made it easier for Americans who enjoy killing abortion doctors to gain access to their victims because some people feel that signs and chants just aren’t enough, as Rachel Maddow pointed out last week on her MSNBC show.

Patrick said the ruling is a “a setback for reproductive freedom” however there is a backdoor that Massachusetts legislators can use to keep their abortion providers and seekers as well as those who disagree with them safe. State Attorney General Martha Coakley is on the case, crafting the bill which would put in place guarded clinic driveways, borrowing a bit from the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and giving the police authority to “disperse crowds.”

"Women should not be afraid or too stressed out to seek necessary medical care," said Coakley, a Democratic candidate for governor. "The Supreme Court might not have liked our buffer zone, but they did not lessen our commitment to protecting women's access to reproductive health care."

Of course anti-abortion protestors see themselves as merely trying to help their fellow sisters.


"Women often seek out abortion as a last resort," said Eva Murphy of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. "They're frightened. They're pressured by family or a boyfriend or a spouse. They want help, and we offer that."

"We should be free to walk around and try to persuade women to talk to us, and if they don't want to talk to us, fine," she added.

Wouldn’t it be great if they found another way that didn’t include antics like screaming at strangers and blocking entry ways? Marty Walz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts says the SCOTUS created a reproductive rights shit show and she, as one of the former legislators who crafted the buffer zone law, is not pleased.

Law makers have until July 31 to write, file and hold public hearings before winning approval on the forthcoming bill in the House and the Senate. If the bill comes after that deadline, a single objection can hold up the safety of abortion providers and those seeking the procedure until 2015.

Image via Getty.