Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Safe Space for Abortion? New York AG Sues to Silence Pro-Lifers


Former abortion clinic worker and current Attorney General of the state of New York, Eric Schneiderman, is suing pro-life sidewalk counselors and trying to establish a 16-foot-wide safe space in front of an abortion clinic in Queens.

In the lawsuit, which was filed in Brooklyn federal court, Schneiderman claimed that every Saturday morning for at least five years, 14 individuals “routinely deter or delay patients who are attempting to access medically necessary care.”

Because “the law guarantees women the right to control their own bodies and access the reproductive health care they need without obstruction,” the Democratic attorney general thinks a 16-foot buffer zone around the entrance to Choices Women’s Medical Center is necessary.

Schneiderman thinks a buffer zone must be established because he has seen first hand the fear that women going into abortion clinics have.

As could have been predicted, Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund was quick to affirm Schneiderman’s efforts.

As does every type of safe space, whether it be at a liberal university or on the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic, Schneiderman’s plan will threaten free speech rights. Even the Supreme Court acknowledged this concern in the 2014 case McCullen v. Coakley, when it unanimously ruled that buffer zones around abortion clinics are a violation of the First Amendment.

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If some of these protesters are actually harassing women, let those ones be fairly tried and charged for breaking the city’s statutes against harassment. But silencing peaceful pro-lifers who offer prayers and counseling to women is unjust — not to mention downright unconstitutional.

Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0

Andrea Moury

Andrea Moury is a regular contributor to