The Associated Press

Lawmakers Working On Abortion Clinic Protections, Gov. Patrick Says

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 — Gov. Deval Patrick says he expects to have a bill on his desk by the end of the month to strengthen security around abortion clinics in Massachusetts.

Patrick said the legislation is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision last week striking down the state’s 35-foot buffer zone law.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said she’s working with lawmakers to draft legislation that will help protect women entering the clinics while also respecting the free speech right of protesters.

She pointed to a number of possible options, including giving police more power to disperse protesters and adopting on a state level some existing federal protections around health clinics.

Abortion opponents say they’re not a threat. They say they’re just trying to counsel women entering clinics by giving them information about alternatives to abortion.’

Earlier:

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  • Richard Hussong

    Why are there standalone abortion clinics at all? They are violations of medical privacy and invitations to the abuse of any woman who enters one. Massachusetts should require hospitals to provide family planning and abortion services as conditions of licensure, so women accessing those services would be indistinguishable from those using any other medical service.

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