New Hampshire Governor Signs Buffer Zone Bill

Flanked by lawmakers and supporters, Democratic New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill Tuesday that will create a 25-foot buffer zone around the five clinics that provide abortion services in the state.

Hassan had previously made clear her intention to sign the bill. The governor’s spokesperson told New Hampshire Public Radio that Hassan believes women should have the ability to access reproductive health-care services without fearing for their safety.

The new law is in response to more than 60 patient complaints filed since the beginning of 2013 by patients of Planned Parenthood in Manchester; the complaints often included reports of verbal harassment, intimidation, or passage-blocking by anti-choice protesters.

New Hampshire will join a growing number of states and municipalities that have passed restrictions on anti-choice protests at reproductive health-care clinics.

New Hampshire is now the 17th state with legislation protecting patients entering reproductive health-care clinics, and only the fourth to require a specific distance for protesters; the cities of Madison, Wisconsin, and Englewood, New Jersey, also passed buffer zone policies this year.

The new law will take effect in 30 days.

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  • purrtriarchy

    Oh no ! It is the end of free speech in the USA!

    • Arekushieru

      Except not. :) What antis seems to forget so often is that they have the freedom of SPEECH and ASSEMBLY, not the freedom to use any space, platform or forum to PRACTICE either. Especially given that the majority of those spaces are ALREADY reserved for them as a result of mainstream opinion that more often conforms to a general appreciation of their position than any other, especially MINORITY opinions.

  • fiona64

    Nice to see some common sense legislation for a change.

  • Dez

    Good news.

  • CrossHugger

    Baby killing comes before any person with an opposing view.

    • Arekushieru

      No babies or killing is directly involved in an abortion. Whoops. Opposing views that assume women are merely disposable incubators and fetus containers should be disregarded as the contemptible, and woman-(actual) killing tripe they are.

    • purrtriarchy

      Prove that embryos are babies.

  • J.D.

    Good news. The gestational slavery/forced birther crowd can shout their hate speech from well out of arms length. Any closer and they deserve nothing but a blast of pepper spray in the face before being arrested and hauled off.