Target: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
Goal: Uphold legality of buffer zones around abortion clinics
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case to determine if the buffer zones around Massachusetts abortion clinics are legal. These buffer zones ensure that patrons of clinics are not unnecessarily harassed by pro-life protesters as they enter or leave the building.
The Massachusetts law, similar to many around the country, requires that anti-abortion protesters who wish to speak to women entering the abortion clinic remain 35 feet away from the clinic entrance. The suit was brought by Eleanor McCullen, who maintains that the tactics she uses to attempt to dissuade women seeking abortions cannot be effectively implemented with the buffer zone in place.
McCullen, 77, says she tries to use quiet, compassionate conversation to make women think twice about abortion and says that the buffer zones infringe on her free speech. While a singular woman attempting to have a civil conversation with someone entering an abortion clinic is not necessarily threatening, the real purpose of the law is to stop more menacing and intimidating anti-abortion protesters from crowding around clinic entrances and bullying patients into leaving.
While McCullen’s premise is that her right to free speech is being violated, she fails to make a sufficiently compelling case. All rights come with certain restrictions, such as the standard example of not being allowed to yell ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater, and this should be no exception. Abortion rights in this country are being constantly whittled away, and if the court overturns this law, many similar statutes around the country will be nullified as well.
Sign this petition to urge Chief Justice Roberts, who will likely cast the deciding vote, to uphold this entirely reasonable law and protect the abortion rights of women.
Dear Chief Justice Roberts,
The case concerning the buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts threatens to overturn many similar laws around the country and opens the door for anti-abortion activists to use intimidating tactics to turn women away from clinics. The argument that these buffer zones infringe on the free speech of a woman attempting to make quiet, compassionate conversation with patients is outweighed by the potential of activists to abuse their right of protest to harass and intimidate women into leaving.
I am urging you to uphold the legality of these buffer zones and protect women who are already under immense stress from being subjected to unnecessary harassment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: UpstateNYer via Wikimedia Commons