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Politics

N.H.'s 25-Foot Buffer Zone Around Abortion Clinics Will Stay

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Sara Plourde/NHPR
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Displayed is what a 25-foot buffer zone around Manchester's Planned Parenthood clinic would look like.

New Hampshire’s 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics will remain after the Senate killed a bill to repeal it in a tie vote.

Last legislative session the Senate also deadlocked over the issue. And just last month a U.S. District Court judge denied a request to challenge the law.

On the Senate floor, Dover Democrat David Watters shared his mother's story.  He says she sought an abortion for health reasons.

“When the roll was called today to repeal my mother’s memory, to repeal a woman’s self-respect, to repeal a woman’s privacy, I will say for my mother, no, no, no," Watters told his colleagues.

But supporters of removing the buffer argued it violates protesters' rights to free speech. 

In June of 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a 35-foot buffer zone law in Massachusetts was unconstitutional. New Hampshire’s law has never been enforced.

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