Police in Massachusetts will have new powers to disperse crowds around abortion clinics under a new law signed by Governor Deval Patrick Wednesday.
The governor signed the bill flanked by the Attorney General and the Senate President, the two most powerful women on Beacon Hill. He praised the lawmakers' speedy response to the recent supreme court decision which struck down Massachusetts' 35-foot buffer zone law around abortion clinics.
The new law, Patrick said, "...affirms again that we in this Commonwealth will step up reasonably and appropriately to secure a woman's right to choose and have access to reproductive health services."
The law lets police disperse groups blocking access to abortion clinics, and then keep the protestors at least 25 feet away for up to eight hours.
Anti-abortion activists have said the new law is still not Constitutional and vowed to head back to court to challenge it.