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Supreme Court chooses not to review New York law permitting abortion clinic buffer zones

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a New York law allowing abortion clinic buffer zones, which activists claim unlawfully restrict free speech. The law, passed in 2020, makes it a misdemeanor to approach within eight feet of a person entering an abortion clinic for the purpose of protesting, counseling, or handing them materials. Despite a legal challenge from a “sidewalk counselor,” the Supreme Court has denied the appeal, upholding the 23-year precedent set by Hill v. Colorado. The decision has sparked heated debate between pro-choice and anti-abortion activists. Pro-choice groups are celebrating the decision, while pro-life groups claim the law restricts peaceful conversations. Despite the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeal, activists claim the fight against abortion clinic buffer zones will continue. This decision will no doubt have far-reaching effects on the future of the abortion debate in the United States. If the First Amendment protects anything, it protects the right to engage in peaceful, face-to-face conversations on a public sidewalk. This is an important matter and its regulation will prove significant for the future of free speech in the United States.

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