Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Massachusetts bubble zone law was unconstitutional, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has taken it upon itself to write up some new legislation that's now being considered by The Burlington City Council Ordinance Committee.
The city ditched their old 35 foot buffer zone after the high court's ruling. Remember that because the new law sounds an awful lot like the old one.
Burlington Free Press reports:
Planned Parenthood would prohibit anyone near a clinic from approaching or harassing another person, displaying a sign to another person or "engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling" without that person's consent. The draft would prohibit those actions within an eight-foot personal bubble.So it's an eight foot bubble unless you actually try to speak with a woman who is considering abortion. If you do that you're relegated back to the 35 foot buffer zone.
If approved as drafted, police could order anyone who violates the measure to stay 35 feet away from the building.
Harassment, according to Planned Parenthood's definition, includes "following a person after the person has communicated or made it known that they do not desire further communication."
Planned Parenthood says patients have complained of being followed in recent months and that their proposal would offer more protection.
Blackwood looked at the proposal and said she had some legal questions about the constitutionality of the eight-foot personal zone as well as practical questions about enforcement.
"As long as they're not approaching someone, then they don't violate this," Blackwood said of protesters. "So it leaves a lot for enforcement, an enforcement person like a police officer, to determine who approached who, and whether or not there was consent."
If they don't like a court decision they wiggle around it until they can make it the law of the land. And then it must be taken seriously be all.