Supreme Court reviewing MA buffer zone at abortion clinics - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Supreme Court reviewing MA buffer zone at abortion clinics

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The Supreme Court is once again taking up the issue of buffer zones, keeping protestors 35 feet away from abortion clinics. 

Anti-abortion activists say it's a violation of free speech, while Planned Parenthood reps say it's a right to safety.

Every Friday protestors gather outside the Planned Parenthood office in Springfield's North End. 

Deb Fenton, regional director of Planned Parenthood says the 35 feet of distance makes her, her employees and her patients feel safe.

"It really created a much safer, much more calm environment for everyone while still allowing people their right to free speech," Fenton said. 

Now the future of the law is uncertain as anti-abortion activist Eleanor McCullen filed a lawsuit, saying her right to free speech is being violated.

"They really don't want to go in. they need somebody to care for them, and I care, I truly care. Then, when we get to the buffer zone I have to stop," McCullen said outside the Supreme Court Wednesday.

Fenton disagrees.

"From my office window, I could see protestors stopping traffic and even one person using a stick with a brochure and putting it through a woman's window as she was trying to drive into the driveway," she said. 

During an hour of arguments Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said the law "had it's problems." Justice Anthony Kennedy said the state has a responsibility to protect lawful speech. 

Attorney General Martha Coakley stood in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday defending the law.

"I feel like today we are here defending what should be settled lawful rights, on everybody's rights and I'm hopeful that the court will see it that way."

The Supreme Court is not expected to make a decision on the law until June.

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