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Massachusetts House Approves Abortion Clinic Bill

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The buffer zone in yellow outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

The buffer zone in yellow outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has approved a bill designed to tighten security around abortion clinics.

The bill would let police disperse groups substantially impeding access to abortion clinics. After a dispersal order is issued in writing, those individuals would have to stay at least 25 feet from the clinic’s entrances for up to eight hours.

The 25-foot boundary would have to be marked and the regulations posted.

The House approved the bill Wednesday on a 116-35 vote. The Senate approved it last week.

The bill is a response to a Supreme Court ruling striking down a 2007 Massachusetts law that established protest-free 35-foot “buffer zones” around abortion clinic entrances.

Abortion opponents said they would head back to court if the bill is approved.

It requires a final vote in each chamber before heading to Gov. Deval Patrick.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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