Madison to cease enforcing protective buffer zone around health clinics


After more review of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Madison will stop enforcing an ordinance that creates a buffer zone around health care facilities to protect patients and staff from protesters.

On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics in Massachusetts, ruling unanimously that creating such a buffer zone violates protesters’ First Amendment rights.

Initially, the city said the decision had no immediate impact on a new ordinance in Madison that creates a 100-foot buffer zone around any type of health care facility. The city’s ordinance is based on one in Colorado, which allows people in the buffer zone but says they can’t approach others within eight feet in the zone without permission. The Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t overturn the Colorado law.




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