NH News
2:35 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Passes N.H. House

25 ft radius depicted around Manchester Planned Parenthood driveway.
25 ft radius depicted around Manchester Planned Parenthood driveway.
Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The New Hampshire House passed a bill (162, 100) to create a marked buffer zone around abortion clinic entrances to keep protesters 25 feet back.


Proponents of the bill say it provides a safe and clear way for patients to enter an abortion clinic.

But others like Republican lawmaker Lynette Peterson of Merrimack argue it’s unconstitutional.

“By passing this bill, we are not only denying the right to peaceably assemble but we are also denying the freedom to exercise one’s religious rights. The right to gather and pray is guaranteed to all in the first amendment.”

Indeed, the bill’s future hinges upon a pending case before the Supreme Court judging the constitutionality of a similar law in Massachusetts.

The bill passed the Senate in February with the support of four Republicans. It returns to the Senate after being amended by the House Judiciary Committee.

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