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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 26, 2013 11:35 AM
From: Representative Matthew D. Bradford
To: All House members
Subject: Creation of Health Care Facility Buffer Zones
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation prohibiting certain acts within fifteen feet of a healthcare facility. Please note, this bill is part of the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health, a comprehensive proposal to address the real health issues affecting Pennsylvania women today.

Safe and unfettered access to health care facilities should be the right of all Pennsylvania women seeking medical counseling and treatment. Accordingly, I plan to introduce a bill prohibiting a person from interfering with a person’s right to seek medical services by knowingly patrolling, picketing, or demonstrating in a very limited zone extending fifteen feet from a health care facility, or driveway or parking facility.

Please know this legislation is not intended to limit the free speech rights of any individual. Other states including Colorado and Massachusetts, and some municipalities such as Pittsburgh have instituted “buffer zone laws.” These laws were not imposed on a whim; they were a response to increasing threats, confrontation and even deadly violence. It is important to note that buffer zones have been credited, in part, with toning down volatile instances and confrontations.

Regardless of your position, I urge you to protect the rights of those who require safe passage to health care facilities for the purpose of seeking medical counseling and treatment. If you are interested in co-sponsoring this legislation, please contact Deb Bricker at (717) 772-2572 or dbricker@pahouse.net.

Introduced as HB1891