N.H. Buffer Zones Bill Signed Into Law

Jun 10, 2014

Governor Hassan signing SB 319 into law.
Credit Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law a bill enabling abortion clinics to create a buffer zone that would keep protesters clear of the entrance.

After a prolonged legislative debate in the house, the final language in the bill gives reproductive health clinics the flexibility to make clearly marked buffer zones “up to” 25 feet in radius.

Jennifer Frizzell with Planned Parenthood says the buffer zones will ensure the privacy, dignity and safety of patients while protecting first amendment rights.

“In New Hampshire, we deeply value free speech and the right to privacy. And this law is narrowly tailored to enable the protection of both these fundamental rights.”

Opponents maintain the law limits free speech.

The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in when it rules on the constitutionality of a 35 foot buffer zone in Massachusetts.

In New Hampshire, protesters who step over the line will be fined a minimum $100 after one written warning from police. The law goes into effect July 10th.