Created: 06/26/2014 5:56 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Protests are now common outside Albuquerque abortion clinics and Protest ABQ spokesperson Tara Shaver says it’s simply free speech.
“We do have an opinion that abortion is wrong and ultimately we care about women, we care about these babies and that's really the heart of why we take it to the public streets,” Shaver said.
Shaver calls today’s Supreme Court ruling striking down 35 foot “buffer zones” around Massachusetts abortion clinics a victory. She hopes the decision will protect what she calls freedom of speech here in New Mexico.
“It's a victory for our movement because we can still have access to these clinics, to these moms in their most desperate time,” Shaver.
In their ruling, justices said the law violated the First Amendment by banning protestors from sidewalks where public forum should be allowed. They also ruled Massachusetts should have tried less extreme measures first.
But pro-choice advocates say the law about protecting women’s privacy and safety, and they feel the law should have gotten spread to other states, including New Mexico.
“Several of our clinics are near public bus stops and for women who rely on public transportation, the walk from the bus station to the clinic entrance can sometimes be just really frightening,” Joan Lamunyon Sanford of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice said.
New Mexicans are protected by a federal law that keeps protestors from obstructing access to clinic driveways or entry doors.