The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing the constitutionality of buffer zones at abortion clinics.
Fourteen years ago, the court upheld Colorado’s 8-foot “floating” buffer zones around individuals to protect patients and staff entering and exiting these clinics. Since then, buffer zones have prevented demonstrators from closely approaching patients and staff without permission.
But the issue is back before a different and more conservative Supreme Court.
The Massachusetts law prohibits anyone from standing within 35 feet of the entrance to a reproductive health care facility where abortions take place. That distance, the length of a school bus, takes the average person about 7 seconds to walk. And, according to the law, anyone can walk through it — as long as their purpose is to enter the facility or cross to the other side of the zone.
(Photo Credit: Flickr via DonkeyHotey)