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Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Passes N.H. House

Sara Plourde

  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.

Before becoming a reporter for NHPR, Ryan devoted many months interning with The Exchange team, helping to produce their daily talk show. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Manchester with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Communication Arts. While in school, he also interned for a DC-based think tank. His interests include science fiction and international relations. Ryan is a life-long Manchester resident.

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