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June 26. 2014 2:30PM

Supreme Court strikes down Mass. abortion buffer zones; Gov. Hassan says state reviewing ruling

CONCORD — Gov. Maggie Hassan said the U.S. Supreme Court decision that Massachusetts’ abortion buffer zone law is unconstitutional needs to be reviewed to determine what effect, if any, it wil have on New Hampshire’s recently approved law.

“New Hampshire’s law is different than Massachusetts’, but we will closely review today’s decision to determine its impact, if any, on our state,” she said.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Massachusetts law is unconstitutional because it overly restricts the 1st Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.

A New Hampshire law Hassan signed earlier this month establishes a 25-foot buffer zone around facilities where abortions are performed. The law allows for flexible buffer zones tailored to the facility.

The Massachusetts law the court ruled against established a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion facilities.

The Supreme Court ruled that law was too restrictive when the state has other options to address clashes between anti-abortion and pro-abortion advocates outside clinics and to protect patients from intimidation and interference.

Supporters of New Hampshire’s law said earlier it addressed some of the issues raised during Supreme Court arguments on Massachusetts’ law.

grayno@unionleader.com


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