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New York Times Editorial: Supreme Court Should Uphold Buffer Zone Law

January 14, 2014 — The Supreme Court on Wednesday is scheduled to consider whether a Massachusetts law that creates a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinic entrances violates the free speech rights of protesters, a New YorkTimes editorial states.

The editorial continues, "While that is the legal question before the court, the broader issue at stake is protecting women's access to abortion, which is under assault around the country by lawmakers and protestors alike." According to the editorial, the contested "law is a prime example of a state's power to protect public safety" -- particularly given the "history of abortion protests in Massachusetts" -- and it falls well within the government's authority to "reasonably impose 'time, place, and manner' restrictions on speech, provided that they are neutral as to content and allow other channels of communication."

The editorial urges the justices to "uphold this sensible law and allow women to make choices free from intimidation, harassment or worse" (New York Times, 1/13).