Massachusetts Bill for Abortion Protest Zone Draws Boston Globe Attack

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 21, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Massachusetts Bill for Abortion Protest Zone Draws Boston Globe Attack Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 21
, 2007

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — The Boston Globe is no friend of the pro-life community and has frequently issued editorials supporting abortion or blasting pro-life advocates over their opposition to embryonic stem cell research. Yet, the newspaper is attacking a bill by abortion advocates in the state legislature to institute an abortion protest buffer zone.

Pro-abortion lawmakers want to pass a law expanding the protest buffer zone around abortion centers claiming the current flexible buffer zone is allowing harassment and intimidation of abortion facility staff and patients.

The pending bill would replace the 18-foot bubble around abortion centers, which some say has been difficult to enforce.

The new zone would be a 35-foot one that would make it more difficult for pro-life people who want to persuade women not to have an abortion to make contact with them.

But the Boston Globe, in an editorial issued Monday, said that a protest zone wouldn’t stop people like John Salvi who engaged in a murderous rampage at an abortion center in Boston in 1994.

"Had there been any buffer zone on the books at the time of Salvi’s rampage, would it have made any difference? The man was not a protester — he was a deranged individual intent on murder," the newspaper asked.

"We might see the need if there had been repeated cases of physical attacks on patients or staff outside clinics," the Globe wrote, noting that after the Salvi shootings there had been no other violence incidents.

"But the new law would ban even silent protest within 35 feet of a clinic’s entrance," the newspaper editorialized. "Other than political pandering, there seems to be little cause for changing the law so that the constitutional right to free speech falls somewhere below the right of clinic workers and patients to come and go without being yelled at."

"This is a solution in search of a problem," it concluded.

The newspaper isn’t alone in opposing the bill. The measure has also drawn opposition from the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Ann Lambert, an attorney with the pro-abortion group, worries the bill would limit free speech rights and said, “The reasoning behind this bill is the same which is all too often used to justify broad restrictions on political protest, such as confining those with dissenting viewpoints to ‘protest zones.’"