Skip To Main

Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on McCullen v. Coakley

Brooklyn , N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the decision by the Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, which will allow protestors to harass and intimidate women entering health care facilities that provide abortions.

Massachusetts, where a shooting outside a health clinic killed two clinic workers in 1994, had maintained a thirty-five foot perimeter around abortion clinics into which protestors could not enter. The law establishing the perimeters was enacted after law enforcement officials testified that protecting people entering the clinic  was extremely difficult otherwise.

“The history of violence directed at women who want to access basic health care services demonstrates that we have a responsibility to protect their access to these clinics, a right protected by our Constitution. The protestors near health clinics are often trying to threaten the women who want to enter. The  state government should have their authority to protect them,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Now, state officials must work with health clinics to develop safety procedures consistent with the decision.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.