BOSTON Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics in Massachusetts.
Wednesday’s signing comes a little more than one month after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 2007 state law that established a protest-free 35-foot “buffer zone” around the entrances to abortion clinics.
The House and Senate on Tuesday gave final approval to the bill that will allow police to disperse protesters who are substantially impeding access to a clinic. Those individuals will have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for up to eight hours.
Abortion opponents have said they would head back to court if the proposal became law.
Attorney General Martha Coakley said the bill protects the rights of protesters and women seeking health services and will withstand any constitutional challenge.