WBUR

A Day After Buffer Zone Ruling, Anti-Abortion Advocates Are Inside Boston Clinic’s Yellow Line

A day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics violates free speech, Theresa Gorey on Friday attempts to hand out literature to a woman leaving a Planned Parenthood clinic on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. A representative of the clinic stands on the sidewalk, waiting to assist anyone coming in. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics violates free speech, Theresa Gorey on Friday attempts to hand out literature to a woman leaving a Planned Parenthood clinic on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. A representative of the clinic stands on the sidewalk, waiting to assist anyone coming in. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — A day after the nation’s highest court ruled that buffer zones around abortion clinics violate the free speech rights of anti-abortion advocates, activists at a clinic in Boston are speaking with patients inside the yellow line that used to create a protesting barrier.

Ray Neary was outside the Planned Parenthood on Commonwealth Avenue late Friday morning. He said his advocacy was much more personal than in years past.

Protester Theresa Gorey (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Protester Theresa Gorey (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

“We were able much more in a close situation to be more personal with the individuals going in,” he said. “I noticed that immediately. There’s a certain freedom to it, where you’re not yelling and sounding like you’re obtrusive in some way.”

On Thursday, after the ruling, Neary was protesting outside of the yellow line.

A representative of Planned Parenthood was also outside on Friday, waiting to assist anyone walking into the facility.

Following the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Massachusetts lawmakers pledged Thursday to introduce and enact new buffer zone legislation by the end of next month.

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  • Kathy

    I’m sure Mr. Neary is just as obtrusive providing “advice” and “counseling” in closer proximity to women who don’t want it.

  • Steve Zakszewski

    Obtrusiveness is obviously in the eye of the beholder. And SCOTUS fully ignored Miller v. Ohio in which Chief Justice Warren wrote “No right is held more sacred, or is more
    carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual
    to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint
    or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority
    of law.”

    But in the Roberts court, precedent no longer matters and sadly, even the “liberal” Justices participated in this charade and ignored precedent.

    • Lawrence

      I can help but to think in the many ways that opinion is being abused.

      “possession and control of his own person” is violated in this case where women are denied peaceful control of their bodies. But also in other cases as well. People are forced to take drugs as many kids in foster care, or in the prison system and innocent, normal people who are forced into institutions for a few weeks if something tragic happens to them.

      This law is important for many different reasons.

      This will blow you away and make you realize the importance of this law.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/31/woman-held-in-psych-ward-testifies/5089405/

  • Emily

    Having been a patient at this Planned Parenthood on Comm Ave, this picture makes me so angry. This exemplifies the total disrespect for a woman’s dignity and privacy – MY privacy. If the people standing OUTSIDE the line on the days I entered this building had walked up to me, it honestly would not have been my safety we would have been worried about. I still remember my anger towards the people standing there with posters, and my appreciation for the law that kept them from walking up to me. The buffer zone is NOT an infringement on anyone’s freedom of speech. It is a necessary tool for ensuring public safety and protecting the privacy of patients of these clinics.

    • grasspress

      you’re absolutely right emily! and why there isn’t a small group of friendly and compassionate persons at the clinic waiting to ‘surround’ these women seeking services in a protective barrier against those who want to disrupt and interfere with their rights is beyond me. these women have already made their decision and for others to assume they were ‘wrong’ is the height of ‘cheney-ism’.

  • scratchbaker

    Planned Parenthood should invest in some noise-cancelling headphones to lend to women trying to enter or leave the clinic without such harassment. Maybe it should also play Mozart outside to drive the protesters crazy. Anything to keep the patients and providers sane. This ruling was crazy.

  • Thinkfreeer

    And should I find myself in the area of these people interfering in other people’s lives I will certainly feel free to express myself by displaying a common digital expression.

  • http://www.humbledfemales.com/ Marc Esadrian

    The Supreme Court needs a reboot. This is surely going to get out of hand and result in chaotic situations.

  • Remí Soule

    I’m sorry but at every protest I’ve EVER been to there have been barriers and lines you couldn’t cross and specific areas you had stay within and cops saying where you could and could not go. You’re going to tell me it doesn’t count for clinics?

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      • rich4321

        TAKE YOUR SPAM SOMEWHERE ELSE!

    • http://www.GONINERS.com/ Kristine

      There is a difference between private property and public sidewalks.

      • Remí Soule

        I didn’t say anything about private property? Protests are not allowed on private property unless the owner allows it, which never happens. Anywhere on public property where there is a protest with more than a dozen or so people, police are usually sent to monitor things in case they get out of hand, but more often than not they try to keep you in once specific area so you are “not in the way”.

  • rich4321

    WomEn who need to go to abortion clinic have their reasons, and it is their rights to make their decisions.

    By what rights do the protesters have to pock their bloody noses into others business? By what rights do the protesters have to tell the others what to do? The protesters should go get a life, mind their own bloody business, keep their bloody noses out of other people’s business, go see professional help to treat their miserable, meaningless lives!

    • http://www.GONINERS.com/ Kristine

      Wait, what? How in the world could you possibly make the assumption, and statement, that protesters have “no way of understanding what the situation and the circumstance of women in need”?

      Of course they have a way of understanding. Happen to know some of the most efficient anti-abortion protesters are women who have had abortions? Obviously they very much understand what is going on.

      And whether you agree or disagree with what a person is protesting, their lives are not “meaningless”. Cripes, you are one judgmental jerk.

      Personally, I find groups of people annoying, but at the very least they have passion about something and are willing to stand up for it.

      People who are willing to stand up for what they believe in are not “miserable” and they don’t have “meaningless lives”.

      I’d LOVE to see you go tell every single person in a Pride Parade or the members of Act Out in the 80′s how meaningless their lives are.

      • rich4321

        ” Cripes, you are one judgmental jerk”

        Haha, very civilized, when it comes to your inapt to peacefully discuss a matter, you resorted to name calling. It only shows how the mentalities of the protesters. Bullying, name callings…

        My point is, how does an outsider know the circumstance of the woman in need, how did she get pregnant. She might have gone through some horrifying, traumatizing events such as rape, incest…. I am sure it is not a decision the woman would make lightly. This is a very private matter, you the protesters have no business muddle with her business and her privacy! Get a life, mind your own B-Wax. HER PERSONAL BUSINESS IS NONE OF YOUR BLOODY BUSINESS, got it?

        I pity you for finding meaning in your life by harassing other people.

  • http://www.judydunn.net/ Judy D

    And yet, the Supreme Court increased their own “buffer zone” in 2013

    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/06/26/supreme-court-buffer-zone-regulations/

  • glennisw

    We were able much more in a close situation to be more personal with the individuals going in,

    Meaning, he could get in someone’s face.

  • vito33

    Planned Parenthood does a lot of other things besides abortions. Pap tests, breast and cervical cancer screening, birth control education and options, STD screening, etc.

    Do these folks try to ‘counsel’ everybody going into and out of a Planned Parenthood clinic without even knowing why they’re there?

  • Derrick Rows

    Since coercion may be necessary in certain instances, the rule of law is also used to define the types and amounts of coercion that can be legally used by agents and administrators of the state.

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