Public hearing set on abortion clinic safety bill


BOSTON (AP) -- Supporters and opponents of a proposal to tighten abortion clinic security will have a chance to weigh in on the plan at a Statehouse hearing.

The new bill would let police disperse groups substantially impeding access to Massachusetts abortion clinics. After a dispersal order is issued, those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for a maximum of eight hours.

The bill would also prohibit anyone from knowingly blocking a vehicle’s access to a facility.

The bill is a response to the Supreme Court’s decision last month that tossed out a Massachusetts law that established 35-foot protest-free "buffer zones" around the entrances of abortion.

Wednesday’s public hearing at the Statehouse is scheduled for 10 a.m. before the Judiciary Committee.

The Senate will debate the bill Thursday.


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