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NY Attorney General Affirms Buffer Zones at Abortion Clinics Remain Intact

Many counties in New York, in addition to New York City, have 15-foot buffer zones.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Patch file photo.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Patch file photo.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week alerted law enforcement agencies throughout the state that the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a Massachusetts law about buffer zones around women's health clinics did not invalidate buffer zones in New York.

Schneiderman issued a press release Thursday - and email to police departments -  stating that he is committed to protecting patients at abortion clinics in the state. 

"I am committed to protecting the right of every patient in New York to full and safe access to reproductive health care services," he said in a statement. "We will not allow activists to use a narrowly targeted Supreme Court decision as an opportunity to create confusion about the critical protections here in 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."

Massachusetts had 35-foot buffer zones where protestors were not permitted, but in New York the zones are smaller, according to the New York Post, which came into play during a recent protest at a Rochester facility. Claiming the Supreme Court struck down all buffer zones, which Schneiderman says is not true, a protestor breached the zone and the police were called and told her she had to move back. 

Below is the text of the email Schneiderman sent out to law enforcement agencies in the state:

Last month the Supreme Court issued a ruling in McCullen v. Coakley striking down a Massachusetts state law intended to  protect access to women’s health services. In the wake of that decision, we have received reports of activist groups in parts of New York suggesting to service providers that the Supreme Court invalidated all buffer zones and other protections.  That is not true. 

I am committed to protecting the right of every patient in New York to full and safe access to reproductive health care services.  Not only do New York State’s clinic protection laws remain intact, I am committed to working with your offices to ensure they are fully enforced.

Enclosed please find a pamphlet prepared by my office that details the protections afforded under State law. If you have any questions or would like assistance, please contact my Civil Rights Bureau by calling (212) 416-8250 or emailing civil.rights@ag.ny.gov. (Read the pamphlet here.)

Emilia July 14, 2014 at 08:56 AM
And, by the way, Ms Carullo, I hope you got approval before using birth control, as that is "morally wrong" according to the Catholic Church.
Emilia July 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Eating dog food. I have no problem using the word : I firmly believe in a women's right to choose abortion!
Emilia July 14, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Thank you, TJ; your comments are on the mark! You brought us back to the real issue: A person's right over her own body.
Linda carullo July 14, 2014 at 03:19 PM
Hi Emilia How do you know I am Catholic? Making quite an assumption there, aren't you? You're the one who went to Catholic school for 8 years - according to one of your posts. Guess none of the 10 Commandments stuck in your moral fiber.... Remember the one , " Thou shalt not kill ?" Oh, or that one for the new doctors - the Hippocratic Oath ? First of all - Do no HARM ? And you were a history teacher? Glad I wasn't in your dogmatic class where it must have been your way or the highway. You say that Dogfood and I are too emotional?? And then there's you, so very logical, aren't you? Now that you have said you were a history teacher . All I can say is Wow !and you STILL think wars are about religion? Jeez, where did you go to college? Those who don't study the past are doomed to repeat it....as you know, being a history teacher. Still waiting for your comments on the Mother Teresa quotes . Funny, how you just skipped over them. And chose instead to attack my logic with sarcasm? And also my personal story? What's your personal story ? Guess it's not germane to the subject. Mine was - that's why I shared it. And you chose to denigrate it. try looking up Rowe vs Wade and see where those people are now and what they now believe, it's very enlightening .But you don't ever seem to have any background info. The vast majority of abortions are a form of birth control. Don't believe me ? Look it up. You just seem to be really threatened by someone's OPINION ( and that's all it really is - in the scheme of things) that your belief is not a moral one and that it is ok to murder the unborn and you just go on and on....maybe you yourself have had an abortion. I don't know because you have not shared your story and you have every right not to. But I chose to ... And for you to say that the story took the place of logic is sad to me. Because you know that was not the reason I shared it.... So, in closing I have to say that we are all very lucky to have the right to disagree in public forums like this and no secret police are showing up at our doors. I am done sharing my thoughts. Hopefully I have planted some seeds that will take root and maybe just one of the women reading this will change her mind and offer her child up for adoption. And may that child grow up to invent something that will save lives,enrich our minds, ignite a passion in us, etc. And to those of you who got so angry , well I hope I made you at least think about your basic beliefs and I leave you with one last question ..... " what if you are wrong? " Take care everyone . PS I don't even live in Westchester County , and this email from The Harrison Patch just appeared in my email a few days ago. Go figure ......
Emilia July 14, 2014 at 05:18 PM
Ms Carullo: First of all, LEARN HOW TO READ! I never said that I was a history teacher. Actually, I taught high school English. Let me address some of your statements. !) I never said the you were Catholic; 2) I do live by the 10 commandments, contrary to what you believe. You and I have a different opinion about the 5th one, obviously; 3) The Mother Teresa quote is not relevant to me or the issue. There are many wonderful, benevolent women out there who have unselfishly given of themselves, as she did, who don't share her views about "killing a child." And they are not necessarily steeped in such a religious background. You just chose one whose views came from her Catholic upbringing; 4) And again, let me point out that you chose to ignore my comment that you contradicted yourself when you said that, "Women should be responsible for their own bodies." That is faulty logic on your part. By the way, thank you for saying that I am "so very logical." I strive to be logical and, unlike you, I realize that my personal story is not relevant to the issue at hand. Lastly, I find it scary to think that you are any kind of teacher, the way you ramble on with emotional baggage and issues personal to you, infusing religion into debates where it does not belong, and throwing logic to the wind. I sincerely hope that you kept religion out of your classroom, if you teach in a public school.

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