Update 1: protecting the right to choose
We start today with a couple of updates on things we have covered in the past.
The first goes back to early in July, when I had the Supreme Court as the Outrage of the Week because of two recent decisions. The first said in effect that Secret Service agents can without repercussion of any sort decide that any demonstrator expressing disapproval of a president's policies is for that reason alone a threat to the president's life and can be removed from the area. The second declared that a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone around the entrances to abortion clinics in the state was an intolerable and unconstitutional affront to the First Amendment.
The update is that the Massachusetts legislature responded rapidly and we already have a new law, tailored to deal with the inanity of the Supreme Court decision. It's based on the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. It allows the anti-choice brigades to approach the doors to a clinic, but they must be non-threatening and must not block the entrance; those that do will be required to move and stay at least 25 feet away. The bill also bans "the use of force, physical act, or threat of force against anyone attempting to enter or leave a reproductive health facility" with penalties of fines or jail time.
In response to that news, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, praised the law and said “A woman shouldn’t be forced to run through an onslaught of screaming, yelling and bullying to access health care.” Hopefully, this new law will help with that.
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