August 1, 2014 - Cardinal Statement on Newly Enacted “Buffer Zone” Law in Massachusetts*

The following statement will appear in the Cardinal’s blog this evening (    

"In spite of a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional the Massachusetts law enforcing a 35 foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, the Massachusetts legislature acted with unseemly haste to establish what amounts to a new buffer zone of 25 feet. 

 After both branches of the legislature sent the bill to the Governor who signed it into law, the effect again is to make it very difficult for citizens seeking to offer alternatives to women contemplating an abortion.  

 The civil law must balance the rights and duties of all individuals and we must be vigilant to ensure the safety of all people, regardless of their position on this most serious issue.  

 I recognize the struggle for all involved, but I believe preventing any reasonable possibility for dialogue is a misguided use of civil law.  The Supreme Court seldom is unanimous in our day; the fact that it was on this question gives me hope that the judiciary will once again correct what I regard as an unjust limitation on free speech in Massachusetts about a fundamental moral and human issue."