Statement on McCullen v. Coakley Case

Megan Amundson, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts

Boston, MA – NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts has joined a long list of respected Massachusetts based and national organizations in an amicus brief submitted yesterday supporting the Massachusetts buffer zone in the McCullen v. Coakley case going before the U.S. Supreme Court. This case challenges the Massachusetts buffer zone law, which creates a 35-foot, content neutral buffer zone around the entrance to abortion clinics, that protects women’s access to health care while still balancing the first amendment rights of protestors.


The buffer zone prevents protestors from being physically close enough to commit violence against those accessing health care and encourages public safety officers to take the threats of violence seriously. There is a history of violence around abortion clinics, both across the country and in Massachusetts, and the buffer zone has been effective in curbing violence and providing women with unimpeded access to health care services. Before the buffer zone law was passed in Massachusetts, protestors blocked access to clinics’ front doors, physically put hands on patients and employees, and photographing or videotaping into the cars of both patients and clinic staff entering and leaving. This level of physical intimidation and harassment prevents women from seeking medical care from reputable practitioners.


Women should not have to undergo herculean efforts to access basic health care.




NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is the state’s leading advocate for privacy and a woman’s right to choose. For more information, please visit


Organizations that have sign on to the National Abortion Federation sponsored amicus brief:


  • Abortion Care Network
  • American Association of University Women
  • Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
  • Black Women’s Health Imperative
  • Catholics for Choice
  • Feminist Majority Foundation
  • Hadassah
  • Women’s Zionist Org. of America
  • Ibis Reproductive Health
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
  • Medical Students for Choice
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • NARAL Pro-Choice New York
  • National Abortion Federation
  • National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum
  • National Association of Social Workers and its Massachusetts Chapter
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association
  • National Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National Organization for Women Foundation
  • National Partnership for Women and Families
  • National Women’s Health Network
  • National Women’s Law Center
  • Nursing Students for Choice
  • Physicians for Reproductive Health
  • Provide, Inc.
  • Reproductive Health Access Project
  • Reproductive Health Technologies Project
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts
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