Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
WASHINGTON – The National Organization for Women (NOW) condemns the Supreme Court’s cavalier disregard for the physical safety – the lives, even — of women seeking abortion care and the health care providers who serve them. In a country where patients and doctors have endured horrific violence at the hands of what can only be called domestic terrorism, the Court’s denial of basic protection in the form of a buffer zone is unconscionable.
Deeply out of touch with the realities of women’s lives, the Roberts’ Court rejected the need for buffer zones around women’s health clinics. It simply dismissed the fact that the Massachusetts buffer zone law was passed after a gunman attacked two Massachusetts clinics, killing two people and injuring five others. Violence and harassment against clinics has continued right up to the present. While the Court was deliberating on this decision, a clinic in Montana was so severely vandalized that it was shut down and may not reopen.
The Roberts’ Court’s disregard for women’s safety is made even worse by the Court’s hypocrisy in maintaining its own 100-foot buffer zone, which the Chief Justice has defended as necessary to preserve proper “order and decorum” in the vicinity of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. How is it that the Court is more deserving of this protection than women seeking essential reproductive healthcare?
NOW’s grassroots leaders and activists are mobilizing to take back our courts from the right-wing onslaught against women’s equality. For starters, we suggest that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and call on Chief Justice Roberts to take down his own buffer zone.