NASW-Massachusetts statement on Supreme Court Buffer Zone ruling

Jun 27, 2014

The National Association of Social Workers – Massachusetts Chapter (NASW-MA) and NASW’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. are disappointed by a United States Supreme Court ruling on Thursday that unanimously overturned the Massachusetts law that created a 35-foot buffer zone around health clinics offering abortion services.  The Court stated that establishing these zones infringed on the First Amendment rights of pro-life protestors.

NASW and its Massachusetts chapter were among more than 30 organizations that filed an amicus brief with the court seeking to continue the original  Massachusetts law.

NASW-MA is concerned because the high court’s ruling on Thursday could negatively affect both women’s rights and patient safety. NASW-MA supports women’s choice and is committed to “unimpeded access to services to all,” including health care and family planning services.

The Chapter urges the Massachusetts legislature to work expeditiously to determine legal restrictions that will ensure the safety and privacy of patients visiting these clinics, while also protecting the right to free speech.  These measures should be approved by both the House and the Senate by the end of the legislative session in July.

For more information contact NASW-MA Membership Development Associate Joell Beagle at