, Salem, MA


June 27, 2014

Buffer zone law under spotlight in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The constitutionality of a New Hampshire law allowing buffer zones around reproductive health facilities’ entrances was questioned yesterday after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Massachusetts law.

Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the New Hampshire law earlier this month. It takes effect July 10 and allows buffer zones of up to 25 feet around the clinic entrances. Hassan said she will closely review yesterday’s ruling to see if it affects New Hampshire, but pointed out New Hampshire’s law is narrow and different from Massachusetts’ law.

“Women should be able to safely access health care and family planning services, and the bipartisan legislation that I signed earlier this month was narrowly tailored, with input from the law enforcement community and municipal officials, to ensure the safety and privacy of patients and the public, while also protecting the right to free speech,” Hassan said in a statement.

Jennifer Frizzell, senior policy adviser for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said her organization also is reviewing the ruling to see if it affects New Hampshire.

“It’s too early to speculate how this will affect access to New Hampshire’s reproductive health facilities,” she said.

But Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, said he hopes the ruling will stop the law from being enforced.

“The buffer zone bill takes people’s freedom of speech away,” said Boutin.

New Hampshire’s law allows local officials and the clinics to tailor each zone to fit the neighborhood where the clinic is located, but Senate Judiciary Chairwoman Sharon Carson said she does not believe that is enough for New Hampshire’s law to pass constitutional muster. Carson, a Hudson Republican who opposed the law, said she will be interested in hearing what Hassan and Attorney General Joseph Foster say after a review.

“I think the law is unconstitutional,” she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Local News
  • Ex-Market Basket boss wants to buy company

    July 24, 2014

  • Court finds Danvers nursing home at fault DANVERS -- The estate of an elderly woman who died after a fall and weeks of neglect at a Danvers nursing home has won a $14.5 million verdict in a wrongful death and negligence case. A Middlesex Superior Court jury awarded the estate of Genevieve Ca

    July 24, 2014

  • chism2 [Duplicate] Chism arraigned in second attack

    BOSTON -- When the woman came out of the bathroom, accused murderer Philip Chism was standing a foot in front of her. He put his hands around the clinician's neck, started choking her and pushed her up against a cinder block wall, a prosecutor said.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos 7 Stories

  • 140723_SN_DLE_PROTESTERS4 Danvers Market Basket forced to toss food

    DANVERS -- Cars peppered the Market Basket intersection Wednesday afternoon with honks supporting grocery chain workers, who held signs calling for the reinstatement of fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. But the latest development in the grocery chain spe

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos 6 Stories

  • Scuba diver found off Marblehead identified MARBLEHEAD -- The scuba diver who died in an apparent drowning Tuesday off the coast of Marblehead was identified Wednesday as 58-year-old Gregory Cole of Westfield. The Essex District Attorney's Office said the state medical examiner's office will c

    July 24, 2014