(BOSTON) -- Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill Wednesday ensuring safe access for patients at women's health facilities.
The legislation, “An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities," bars protesters who are preventing access to a clinic. Individuals subject to the order are unable to stand within 25 feet of the clinic entrance for an 8-hour period.
"I am incredibly proud to sign legislation that continues Massachusetts leadership in ensuring that women seeking to access reproductive health facilities can do so safely and without harassment, and that the employees of those facilities can arrive at work each day without fear of harm," Patrick said.
The bill follows a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down Massachusetts' call for a 35-foot area protest-free "buffer zone" around the entrances of women's clinics.
The bill balances the right to free speech with the rights of those seeking access to reproductive health facilities, Patrick adds.
Legislation prohibits impeding a vehicle trying to access or leave clinic parking lots and also bans the use of force or the threat of force toward people attempting to leave health centers. Individuals affected can seek compensation for damages.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio