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US Supreme Court takes up divisive abortion protest case

Published on Jan 15, 2014 2:13 PM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Supreme Court on Wednesday will wade into a divisive case that pits the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters against public safety concerns raised by women's healthcare providers.

The nine justices will hear a one-hour argument over a challenge to a Massachusetts law aimed at ensuring access for patients at clinics that offer abortions.

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

The protesters say their main aim is to counsel women in an effort to deter them from having abortions.

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