A “buffer zone” law passed in New Jersey, which would have kept pro-life activists from making contact with pregnant women at a local late-term abortion clinic, was deemed unconstitutional at court.
A ‘buffer zone’ case from 2014 had also caused a similar decision
The ordinance, which concerned the Metropolitan Medical Associates clinic, found in Englewood, New Jersey, would have barred pro-life activists from coming into contact with pregnant women or giving them pro-life literature even if they had requested it.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Wigenton found the new law unconstitutional. Reportedly, the decision was influenced by a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that also deemed a similar “buffer zone” law in Massachusetts to be unconstitutional.
‘The court found no evidence of any arrests or clinic harassment or violence in the last five years or more.’
Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life expanded on why she felt Wigenton came to such a decision. As she explained:
The ordinance established a buffer zone that extended to eight feet on either side of the clinic’s doorway and its driveway. So it was very, very broad and the court found that the Englewood abortion clinic had not tried a less-restrictive approach to governing the clinic entrance before enacting this ordinance.
Another point of contention Tasy highlighted was that court document alleged that the sidewalk counselors were accused of attacking people, such a shouting and pushing people, and also blocking entrances. However, according to Tasy, there was a lack of evidence that such actions had happened near the clinic, which helped deem the “buffer zone” law as unfair. As she elaborated on:
No, that is not true. In fact, the court found no evidence of any arrests or clinic harassment or violence in the last five years or more. The court therefore said that the buffer zone law was unjustified [sic].