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The Boston Globe


Justices question Mass. abortion clinic buffer zones

Arguments focus on safety and free speech

WASHINGTON — In a case watched closely across the country, justices of the US Supreme Court expressed skepticism Wednesday about a Massachusetts law that creates buffer zones outside abortion clinics to restrict demonstrations, questioning whether it goes too far and infringes on the free speech of activists who approach women seeking abortions.

The 2007 state law aims to keep protesters at least 35 feet from the entrances of abortion clinics to quell aggressive demonstrations that have congested sidewalks and prevented people from entering the clinics.

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