Massachusetts Senate Passes Expanded Buffer Zone Bill
The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill yesterday which would establish a 35-foot no-protest zone around reproductive health care clinics beginning where clinic property ends. Currently, the state has an 18-foot buffer zone, but anti-abortion protesters continue to harass and intimidate patients. In some cases, protesters have even dressed as police officers and deceived patients. NAF knows from experience that creating or expanding buffer zones around health care facilities can lead to a decrease in violence and harassment, thereby ensuring the safety of patients and staff.
“Women in the Commonwealth have the right to medical care free of violence, harassment, or intimidation,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement. “The Senate’s decision today to widen the buffer zone around reproductive clinics will protect patients from the abuse that so many have encountered as they seek care.”
The legislation now heads to the Massachusetts House where it has the support of the Speaker and nearly half of the state representatives.