U.S. justices raise doubts about abortion clinic buffer-zone law

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:24am EST

A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A general view of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington December 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday raised questions about the scope of a Massachusetts law that ensures access for patients at clinics that perform abortions.

A majority of the justices at times expressed concerns during the one-hour argument before the high court that the blanket 35-feet (11-meter) no-entry zone around clinics is overly broad.

Anti-abortion protesters challenged the law, saying it violated their freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by preventing them from standing on the sidewalk and speaking to those entering clinics.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

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