Bill designed to strengthen abortion clinic safety - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Bill designed to strengthen abortion clinic safety

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By STEVE LeBLANC
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - A bill designed to respond to the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down Massachusetts' abortion clinic buffer zone law has been filed at the Statehouse.

Supporters say the bill filled Monday wouldn't create a new buffer zone, but would strengthen existing laws and create new ones to enhance public safety at clinics.

The bill would let police immediately disperse groups of two or more who are substantially impeding access to a clinic.

After a dispersal order is issued, individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from a facility's entrances for up to eight hours.

The bill is a response to the high court's decision last month to toss out Massachusetts' law establishing 35-foot protest-free "buffer zones" abortion clinics.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life, which opposes abortion, said lawmakers should proceed cautiously on any new law.

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