Diocese of Worcester Statement on Buffer Zone


June 26, 2014 -- The Diocese of Worcester applauds the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of the United States supporting the right to free speech on public sidewalks. In the unanimous opinion of the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts described the petitioners’ role as sidewalk counselors who provide information to clinic clients about alternatives to abortion and offers of assistance. The decision notes that the counselors’ caring demeanor and calm exchanges have been “effective means of dissuading women from having abortions.”

This favorable decision on the unconstitutionality of the 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics will allow those who offer compassionate sidewalk counselling to continue their efforts more effectively.

We continue to teach that exercising free speech in a peaceful and respectful manner is a necessary component of witnessing to the dignity of every person, including the unborn. We condemn violence as inconsistent with our mission to respect life as a gift from God.