The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a case in its next term on the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that designates a 35-foot radius “buffer zone” around abortion centers.
According to the law, no one is allowed in the buffer zone but employees of the abortion facility, those coming and going from the facility, those on their way somewhere else, law enforcement, and emergency responders.
Pro-life protestors had challenged the law, saying it violates their First Amendment rights.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the buffer zone law, saying it was a “narrowly tailored time-place-manner regulation that protects the rights of prospective patients and clinic employees without offending the First Amendment rights of others.”
In 2000, the last time the Supreme Court heard an abortion center buffer zone case, it upheld the law, but the composition of the court has changed since then.