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  • January 21, 2008
    By Wendy Kaminer
    By Wendy Kaminer

    Last year, Governor Patrick signed a law mandating expanded no speech and no loitering zones around the entrances to abortion clinics; members of the general public are now prohibited from approaching within 35 feet of clinics unless they're entering or exiting or simply passing by. Last week, the Alliance Defense Fund, (ADF) a conservative advocacy group, challenged this law in federal district court, arguing that it’s vague and vests too much discretion in police officers, encouraging discriminatory enforcement, and that it privatizes a public sidewalk and public forum, banning peaceful anti-abortion protests where they are most likely to matter.

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  • January 08, 2008
    By James Tierney

    NBC reports that a group of abortion protesters disrupted a Barack Obama rally in New Hampshire. Though the police came to usher the protesters out, Obama’s response seems to suggest that he understands the old notion of disagreeing with you but fighting for your right to say it:

    “Let me just say this though. Some people got organized to do that [protest].

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  • May 28, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    Even free speech absolutists ought to sympathize with abortion providers and patients who want to prohibit anti-abortion protests in close proximity to clinics -- especially in Massachusetts. In 1994, when John Salvi shot up two local reproductive health care clinics, killing two people and wounding five, he left more than grief and carnage in his wake; he also left behind fear and a sense of vulnerability among people who continue to provide and seek abortions today.

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  • April 20, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer

    At the risk of being considered impolite, I can’t help but add that every one of the five Justices who upheld the ban on a second trimester abortion procedure (in defiance of expert medical opinion) are Catholic. Four are conservative Catholics. I expect that some consider the mere mention of this obvious but salient fact an example of religious bigotry, but advocates of more religion in government who praise the influence of sectarian religious ideals on public policy should be prepared to hear it questioned.

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  • April 20, 2007
    By Harvey Silverglate

    Wendy Kaminer is quite right that one of the most prominent features of the Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, upholding, for the first time, a ban on an abortion procedure that does not make an exception for the health of the woman, is the Court’s arrogant assumption that it need not credit the medical judgments of experts in the field.

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  • April 19, 2007
    By Wendy Kaminer
    You’d think that a majority of Supreme Court Justices would be content with having climbed or kissed their way to the top of the judicial hierarchy, but, no -- they want to rule the medical profession too. Yesterday, in upholding a congressional ban on a particular abortion procedure, regardless of the ban’s effect on women’s health, five Justices substituted their judgments about medical necessities for the judgment of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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Related Articles

Boston Phoenix
Protecting Anti-Abortion Protests, Like them or Not
Published 1/21/2008 by Wendy Kaminer
By Wendy Kaminer            Last year, Governor Patrick signed a law mandating expanded no speech and no loitering zones around the entrances to abortion...

Boston Phoenix
This Just In: Obama A Friend of Free Speech?
Published 1/8/2008 by James Tierney
NBC reports that a group of abortion protesters disrupted a Barack Obama rally in New Hampshire. Tho...

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