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For Now, N.H. Will Not Enforce Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Law

Sara Plourde

New Hampshire will hold off on enforcing a new abortion clinic buffer zone law before a court hearing, scheduled for later this month. In a pleading filed Wednesday, Attorney General Joe Foster outlined a response to a challenge brought by a Conservative Christian advocacy group from Arizona.

Related: Christian Legal Group Sues To Halt N.H.'s Buffer Zone Law.

The group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, brought a similar lawsuit against Massachusetts’ law, which banned demonstrators within 35 feet of an abortion clinic. That suit ultimately prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal Massachusetts’ law.

Elizabeth Lahey with the Attorney General’s office says the law still goes into effect on Thursday, “but what the AG’s office has agreed to is we will not enforce the statute without notifying the court or the plaintiff.”

Planned Parenthood does not intend to implement buffer zones immediately.

Backers of New Hampshire’s law, including Governor Maggie Hassan, say the state’s law is different than Massachusetts’ and should stand in the face of the Supreme Court’s decision.  

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