An abortion protester outside a reproductive health clinic.

Credit: NPR

Why Free Speech Trumped The Right To Avoid Harrassment

June 26, 2014

Back in 2007, Massachusetts strengthened a law it already had in place and made it a crime to stand on a public way or sidewalk within 35 feet of an entrance to abortion clinics. 

Protestors complained the rule prevented them from offering sidewalk counseling to women seeking abortions and that it violated the First and Fourteenth amendments, and today the Supreme Court ruled in their favor.


Jessica Silbey is a Suffolk University Law professor and a member of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund.

Bridget Fay is a director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life and a member of the board of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund.

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