June 9, 2014 — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) on Tuesday plans to sign into law a bill (SB 319) that will impose a 25-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in the state, the AP/Portland Press Herald reports.
Hassan spokesperson William Hinkle said the governor "believes that women should be able to access critical health services without fearing for their safety, and this common sense, bipartisan measure will help ensure the privacy and safety of both patients and the public" (AP/Portland Press Herald, 6/8).
The bill applies to all five of the state's abortion clinics, but it was created to address protests at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Manchester.
The state Senate approved the measure after declining a recommendation from state Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sharon Carson (R) to negotiate with the state House to reconcile the two chambers' differing versions. Carson said that taking time for negotiations would allow the Supreme Court to release its decision on a similar Massachusetts law, which would then allow lawmakers to adjust the New Hampshire bill to be in line with the decision (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/23).