Lawmakers Working On Abortion Clinic Protections, Gov. Patrick Says

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.'