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Supreme Court's abortion clinic ruling hailed as win for women


ADELAIDE MENA

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/26/2014

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ABSTRACTSupreme Court's abortion clinic ruling hailed as win for women :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood CNA Blog Home » News » US Supreme Court's abortion clinic ruling hailed as win for women By Adelaide Mena Women pray outside an abortion clinic in Albany, New York. Credit: 40daysforlife.com. Washington D.C., Jun 26, 2014 / 04:24 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- A unanimous Supreme Court decision striking down a 35-foot buffer zone around Massachusetts abortion clinics is being praised as a victory not only for pro-life counsellors but for all women. Jeanne Monahan, president of the March for Life, told CNA that the ruling “absolutely protects women.” “Abortion is bad physiologically and psychologically for many, many, many women,” she continued, adding that the ruling supports counselling that “allows women to have informed consent.” “Abortion can be the most important decision a woman makes in her life, and sometimes she rushes in there in a state of panic,” Monahan explained. “This allows her to put the brakes on, to think about it, to think about what’s actually happening inside of her.” “So many women regret their abortions,” she lamented. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Eleanor McCullen and other pro-life sidewalk counsellors in McCullen v. Coakley, striking down a Massachusetts law that placed a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, including on sidewalks and public streets. McCullen’s lawyers argued that the law unconstitutionally violated freedom of speech and penalized only those with certain views – specifically pro-life views – from offering counselling and education to those entering the clinics, even if they do so peacefully. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said that the buffer zone regulations “burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests” of protecting access to health care. “Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks,” he noted, specifically highlighting the significance of such public places as areas for discussion and exchange of ideas. The decision means that “there is no abortion exception to the First Amendment, and it may very well mean the end to abortion buffer zones around the country,” Casey Mattox, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA. Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakle said in a June 26 press conference that the state and abortion officials were disappointed with the decision, seeing it as a blow against abortion access. “The decision today is obviously a disappointment to us,” Coakley said, adding that she would work with law enforcement across the state to enforce portions of the law prohibiting “harassment,” such as “screaming” at abortion clinic employees, which still stand after the Supreme Court decision. Catholic University of America law professor Mark Rienzi, who served as lead counsel in the McCullen v. Coakley case, praised the high court for affirming “a critical freedom that has been an essential part of American life since the nation’s founding.” Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the ruling “has affirmed the American tradition of basic constitutional rights for all.” He criticized the overturned law, saying it discriminated against pro-life counsellors while exempting pro-abortion “clinic escorts.” This treatment, he continued, sought to “deny that their fellow Americans who seek to protect the unborn have the same rights as othe.......