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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (Read the pamphlet here.)