Statement by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on McCullen v. Coakley Buffer Zone Decision

Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—June 26, 2014. Today’s Supreme Court decision puts women’s access to safe and legal abortions at risk.  Massachusetts had established a buffer zone in response to violence, intimidation, and physical obstruction that can prevent women from exercising their constitutionally-protected right to abortion. Rep. Jan Schakowsky issued the following statement on the ruling:

“I am extremely disappointed that today the Supreme Court limited Massachusetts’ ability to protect women from assault through the use of fixed buffer zones.  Buffer zones are vital for ensuring that women can safely access the full range of reproductive health services. Despite overturning Massachusetts’ law the Supreme Court made clear that states and the federal government have the right to protect people who access reproductive health clinics. While this decision outlaws Massachusetts’ fixed 35-foot buffer zone, it did not outlaw buffer zones.  That includes buffer zones like the Chicago ordinance that creates an 8-foot ‘bubble zone’ around people who are within 50 feet of a medical facility.

I believe states and Congress must take action to protect women and providers that comply with today’s court decision. Since 1977, 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 100 acid attacks have been undertaken by abortion opponents to stop women from accessing this constitutionally-protected health care service. I will continue to work with my colleagues and advocates to protect women and providers from such harassment and violence. “