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U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Free Speech at Abortion Clinics

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June 27, 2014

On Thursday, June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 2007 Massachusetts state law that required a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics to prevent pro-life counselors from talking to or handing information to patients entering abortion clinics. 

One of the key components of the pro-life movement is sidewalk counseling outside of abortion clinics. It is one of the few and sometimes the only way that some pregnant women seeking help receive information about alternatives to abortion. 

Sidewalk counselors offer women and couples seeking abortion contacts with pregnancy resource centers where they can receive assistance for baby supplies as well as information on the development of the fetus. Many times the women, now equipped with this information and hope, change their minds and choose life for their babies. 

This ruling is a victory for both the pro-life movement and free speech rights said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, in a statement.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: "Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks --- sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history." 

Hobby Lobby/ HHS Mandate - Another crucial ruling will be handed down on Monday -- the last day of the Court's session. Will religiously motivated business owners be forced to offer abortion-inducing drugs and services through their employee insurance plans, or will they be able to act according to their religious beliefs and opt out? We will post the decision on the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga Wood Specialties case as soon as it breaks.

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