NY attorney general: Abortion buffer zones intact - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

NY attorney general: Abortion buffer zones intact

Posted: Updated:
New York State News New York State News

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York's attorney general told police Thursday that legal buffer zones around abortion clinics are intact in 22 of the state's counties despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the 35-foot protest-free zone outside clinics in Massachusetts.

In an open letter to law enforcement agencies, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office won't let anti-abortion activists use "a narrowly targeted" court decision to create confusion. The court ruling affirmed that states can protect their interest in ensuring access to reproductive health services, he said.

New York City law sets a 15-foot buffer zone in front of clinics. A federal court in Buffalo issued an injunction in 2005 requiring protesters to abide by a 15-foot zone at clinics in 17 counties in western New York.

"Not only do New York state's clinic protection laws remain completely in place, I am committed to working with our partners in law enforcement to ensure they are fully enforced," Schneiderman said. He has also sent out investigators to ensure clinic access, he said.

The letter followed a protest last week outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Rochester, where one demonstrator crossed a faded line on the sidewalk believing the Supreme Court decision applied everywhere, said Mary Jost. She is director of the Focus Pregnancy Help Center nearby and a longtime anti-abortion protester. Police were called, an officer talked with the woman and said she had to move back. That also prompted Rochester police to query the attorney general's office and Jost to consult her own lawyer, who advised staying beyond the line that was subsequently painted bright orange, she said.

"We might take it to court in time," Jost said. Up to 15 protesters are outside the clinic on surgery days and they try to persuade young women to come instead to her center two doors down with offers of free services including help with adoption, she said.

When he ran for attorney general four years ago, Schneiderman was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York. He was cheered at an Albany campaign event where he promised to aggressively defend their rights to birth control. He noted that at 17, he worked at a Washington clinic that provided abortions.

 

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:37:29 GMT
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
  • Trench collapse traps workers

    Trench collapse traps workers

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:56:22 GMT
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
  • Woman plunges to death over cliff in Catskills

    Woman plunges to death over cliff in Catskills

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:42:28 GMT
    Authorities say a 23-year-old woman trying to take a picture by the edge of a cliff in the Catskill Mountains died after falling more than 150 feet.
    Authorities say a 23-year-old woman trying to take a picture by the edge of a cliff in the Catskill Mountains died after falling more than 150 feet.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices