Dear Legislator Testa:
I urge you to support the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Access Act. I believe the current law does not go far enough in protecting women and men seeking health care services at reproductive health care facilities and the doctors, nurses and administrators who work there.
The right to obtain reproductive health services is protected by state and federal law. This new legislation will ensure public safety, protect freedoms, advance medical privacy and safeguard public property. It prohibits unwanted physical contact or threat of force. The right to peaceable protest and free speech is protected by the First Amendment. However, the boundaries of First Amendment free speech are crossed when anti-abortion advocates harass, intimidate or interfere with the right of anyone seeking reproductive health care.
By voting for this legislation you will establish a humane 25' buffer zone at the entrance and exits to facility driveways or nearby parking lots in which patients may walk unimpeded. The bill also guarantees that clinic personnel can call for assistance if they see that patients are having trouble getting through a crowd or demonstration. "Intent" to deny access need not be proven in this new bill, closing a crucial legal loophole.
As a resident of Westchester County, I support this legislation and I strongly urge you to support it with your vote on Monday, May 7th 2012.
Carole GerstenPeekskill, NY