Ever since Roe v. Wade, activists on both sides of the abortion debate have battled each other in a range of forums, most publicly in front of reproductive health care facilities. This January, the Supreme Court heard arguments in McCullen v. Coakley, a case contesting the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law imposing a 35-foot fixed buffer zone around abortion clinics. Proponents of the law argue that buffer zones promote public safety, while opponents of the law claim that it infringes upon the freedom of speech of the protestors. Come join the PSU for a discussion of the constitutionality of buffer zones, free speech, and the current state of abortion politics.
Loretta Ross is a founder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective and was the National Co-Director of the April 25, 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington D.C. She co-authored Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice. She is currently writing a book about reproductive rights and editing an anthology about reproductive justice.
Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network. She has written and spoken extensively on the constitutional limits on government, the federal nomination process, and state judicial selection. She also filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in McCullen v. Coakley.
Joshua Wilson is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. His research focuses on the varying abilities of political and social movements to use the law in pursuit of political ends. He is the author of The Street Politics of Abortion: Speech, Violence, and America’s Culture Wars.