SCOTUS Strikes Down Buffer Zones!

supreme ctOn 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:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1168_6k47.pdf

 

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.” 

rachel mIf you would like to see a video treatment of analysis of the decision, here is an outstanding clip from the Rachel Maddow Show:
Court Not Swayed by Violent Threat to Clinics
Womens Clinics Regroup on Safety Strategy

For an article summarizing the decision of the Court, please visit:

http://go.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily4_&page=NewsArticle&id=44899

This is an excellent analysis of what this ruling means for other buffer zones:
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/06/26/3453615/what-todays-supreme-court-ruling-means-for-other-laws-that-protect-clinic-patients/
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!
http://www.northjersey.com/news/legal-opinions-divided-on-englewood-s-buffer-zones-for-abortion-clinics-other-medical-facilities-1.1043172
 One final article that refers to the buffer zone in Englewood, NJ:
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/opinion/opinion-editorials/buffer-zones-1.1043483
 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:
http://action.now.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9971&sp_ref=47658684.178.8116.f.0.2

 

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.

Please mail to: NNJ NOW, 453 Nelson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010 If you are interested in volunteering to work toward protecting the Englewood buffer zone, please email Vanessa Loh (VP, NNJ NOW) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bonnie Shapiro (President, NNJ NOW) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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