{{show_title_date || "Supreme Court to hear challenge to women’s clinic buffer zone, 7/4/13, 9:58 AM ET"}}

Supreme Court to hear challenge to ‘buffer zone bill’


Last week the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to a Massachusetts law, the so-called “buffer zone bill,” which keeps protesters at least 35 feet away from women’s health clinics, including those where abortions are performed.

Massachusetts Democratic state Rep. Carl Sciortino helped write the 2007 state law and is now running to succeed Ed Markey as a U.S. congressman.

“I believe it is constitutional and is a fair balance between the right to free speech and women’s access to health care,” Sciortino told msnbc’s Alex Witt Thursday in defense of his bill.

Opponents of the law say it prevents people from “communicating” with women going to the clinic and therefore violates the right to free speech. However Sciortino called his approach reasonable in “balancing the interests.”

“We know people in this country who are literally trying to turn back the clock on birth control,” he said.  “Women have a right to choose and access health care.”

Supreme Court to hear challenge to 'buffer zone bill'