Massachusetts Senate OKs bill to protect abortion providers and patients

The Massachusetts Senate has passed a bill which would expand the buffer zone around health clinics that provide abortions. Massachusetts law currently prohibits demonstrators within 18 feet of the clinic. The new bill, SB 1352, sponsored by Senator Harriette Chandler, would require demonstrators to stay at least 35 feet from the clinic’s property. The bill now moves to the House, where it has the support of the Speaker and at least 75 of the representatives. Governor Deval Patrick has also expressed his support for the bill. Fifteen other states have laws that protect facilities which provide abortions. For more information, see CPA’s Health Clinic Protection policy brief and model legislation. [Boston GlobeBoston Herald]