Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the decision by the Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, which will allow protestors to harass and intimidate women entering health care facilities that provide abortions.
Massachusetts, where a shooting outside a health clinic killed two clinic workers in 1994, had maintained a thirty-five foot perimeter around abortion clinics into which protestors could not enter. The law establishing the perimeters was enacted after law enforcement officials testified that protecting people entering the clinic was extremely difficult otherwise.
"The history of violence directed at women who want to access basic health care services demonstrates that we have a responsibility to protect their access to these clinics, a right protected by our Constitution. The protestors near health clinics are often trying to threaten the women who want to enter. The state government should have their authority to protect them," said Congresswoman Clarke. "Now, state officials must work with health clinics to develop safety procedures consistent with the decision."