On Saturday, U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-MA, visited a Boston Planned Parenthood clinic to thank volunteer escorts for their work following the June 26 Supreme Court decision to strike down a Massachusetts law mandating a 35-foot buffer zone around clinics that provide abortion services. Clark has long-advocated for the buffer zone as a critical measure protecting patients and staff from harassment and intimidation. Since the Court’s ruling, the Boston clinic has been a focal point of anti-choice protests and heightened demonstrations. Clark thanked the volunteers who stood facing dozens of protesters outside the clinic.
“The Court’s ruling means patients are forced to choose between the medical care they need and being within arm’s length of potential harm, harassment or intimidation,” said Clark. “The walk from a car to a doctor’s office is a very long one for the women who face this fear. Volunteer escorts provide compassion and safety so that these women can access the health care they need and deserve.”
“Katherine’s visit at a time like this means a great deal to those who work and volunteer at Planned Parenthood,” said Marty Walz, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. “In Washington, she’s continuing her long history of fighting for women’s rights, and I’m proud to see her come home to work with us to ensure that women have the ability to make private medical decisions without fear and intimidation.”
Clark, a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, has partnered with other Members to introduce bills protecting women’s access to health care. Last week, Clark and members of the Caucus introduced the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, legislation that protects workers from denial of contraceptive coverage.
Submitted by the Office of U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark.