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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Warren Tolman for Attorney General
June 26, 2014

WATERTOWN – Warren Tolman has released the following statement regarding the McCullen v. Coakley decision.

“In the State Senate, I was proud to co-sponsor the original buffer zone legislation that set a basic standard for safety around health care facilities. But in today’s decision in McCullen v. Coakley striking down the buffer zone, the Supreme Court has spoken and we must now redouble our efforts to protect the fundamental right of safety and security of women across Massachusetts and across the country who are seeking access to health care facilities.

No woman seeking treatment or care should be intimidated, harassed, or deterred from accessing any kind of health care services, and we must work together to find a solution that continues the protections women deserve. The updated buffer zone legislation, passed in 2007 with the support of law enforcement, was enhanced to include a strong mechanism for ensuring public safety and protecting the safety of health center patients and staff. It’s clear that we need to find a way to appropriately balance the constitutional right to access abortion and health care services with the constitutional right to free speech.

Working with district attorneys, local law enforcement, operators of health care facilities, and leaders in the women’s health community, our elected leaders must identify immediate action enforceable by the legislature and by local municipalities that will protect women who feel threatened or who are unable to receive care. As Attorney General, I will work to uphold any new legislation or ordinances and I will fight tirelessly, as I have in the past, to protect a woman’s fundamental right to make her own health care decisions.”