On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled that the 35 foot buffer zone surrounding an abortion clinic in Massachusetts was in violation of the right to free speech. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion, which can be found in its entirety here:
As you know, NNJ NOW has been heavily involved in fighting for a buffer zone in Englewood -- and we have had success, as many of you know. Englewood currently has an ordinance calling for an 8 foot buffer zone at all medical facilities. While we do not know for sure how the SCOTUS ruling will impact Englewood, we know we will continue to fight to protect the rights of women in our communities. We are heartened by the response of Englewood's attorney (see The Record article below), who expressed that he is “confident the local ordinance could withstand a legal challenge and did not foresee the city halting its enforcement.”
If you would like to see a video treatment of analysis of the decision, here is an outstanding clip from the Rachel Maddow Show:
For an article summarizing the decision of the Court, please visit:
|This is an excellent analysis of what this ruling means for other buffer zones:
|This article deals with the potential impact on the Metropolitan Medical Associates clinic in Englewood, NJ, where NNJ NOW has worked diligently to help protect the patients. As you know, NNJ NOW was instrumental in getting the Englewood buffer zone law put into effect, and we are not done yet!
| One final article that refers to the buffer zone in Englewood, NJ:
| Many of us couldn't help but notice the Supreme Court itself enjoys a buffer zone. Sign NOW's petition to highlight the hypocrisy of the Court:
NNJ NOW is hopeful that Englewood ordinance will hold up in the face of challenges – there are important differences between the 8 foot buffer zone in Englewood, and the 35 foot buffer zone the court struck down. No matter what happens, NNJ NOW will remain diligent in fighting for the rights of women. Now, as always, we need your support and donations in any amount. If you are up for renewal, please renew. If you are still an at- large member, please renew in our NNJ chapter. For those of you who can, donations are always welcome.
BUFFER ZONE ENACTED!
There is the long way to tell this story or the short way. I will take the medium way and leave out some stories of the evening.
The eblast we had sent out said to get to the meeting at 7. Then we were told there would be "hordes" of protesters there, so I told people one by one to be there at 6:30. Good thing it was a nice night, as the doors did not open till after 7, and those of us waiting got pretty cold in 30-40 minutes! (Next time I have to remember to check door opening times!)
During the day it occurred to me that if there were to be “hordes of protesters" they might take down our announced addresses, so I called in to the City Manager and asked if we might hand in our addresses instead of saying them out loud when speaking. The upshot was that I was told when I got inside that we did not have to give addresses, we could just say our names and "From NOW." So that is what I told everyone, but some gave their addresses anyway, and it seemed OK.
Joining Northern NJ NOW members in the waiting crowd outside the building (which some thought was a "line" to get in) were NOW NJ Acting President Deb Huber, a group from Middlesex NOW, Vicky Stapleton, NOW NJ Action VP, and Sue and Ned Waldman from Morris County NOW. We thank all people who came from so far to stand up for women's rights in Englewood.
Currently, our core issue is human trafficking.
This modern day form of slavery is a global problem and it exists everywhere – including right here in New Jersey. In fact, we have learned that Bergen county is home to scores of modern day slaves – many in the form of domestic help.
Right now, we are focused on working with our state legislators as well as our sister organizations to combat human trafficking by raising awareness. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle is sponsoring Bill A3352, known as the "Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection, and Treatment Act." Its Senate companion is S2239. Visit http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/bills0001.asp to track the progress of this and other bills regarding human trafficking.
As you probably already know, in January 2014, New Jersey will host the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands. But did you also know that law enforcement has observed a surge in sex trafficking activity surrounding Super Bowls and other large sporting events? As activists for justice for women, we must try to protect these girls and women.
Ending human trafficking is a difficult goal to set and achieve. Some find the topic itself upsetting. If you find it upsetting just to think about, imagine what our sisters who are living it are feeling. Then, imagine how we will feel to have been even a small part of such a struggle when we win, and another form of slavery is abolished!
The chapter is involved with interviewing candidates for local and state offices. Every other year every single member of the NJ legislature is up for reelection.