Massachusetts Governor Signs Buffer Zone Law

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a law Tuesday expanding the buffer zone around reproductive health care facilities to 35 feet. In 2000, the state passed a law, which designated a “floating” zone of 6 feet, within a larger radius of 18 feet, inside which no one may approach a patient entering a clinic without her consent. However, the vague consent language made it difficult to enforce the law. Officials, including Attorney General Martha Coakley and Boston Police Captain Bill Evans, testified in support of this legislation.

Patrick said the legislation strikes the right balance between freedom of choice and freedom of speech.

Massachusetts now has one of the strongest buffer zone laws in the nation.

>Learn more about clinic protection bills.

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