New Hampshire Patient Safety Zone Law (SB 319)
This law was last updated on Jan 30, 2019
SB 319 creates a 25-foot buffer zone around clinics that provide abortion services to protect patients from anti-choice activity. The buffer zone applies to any portion of an entrance, exit, or driveway of a reproductive health facility.
Under the law reproductive health care facilities are required to clearly mark the zone and post signage with the following language:
Reproductive Health Center
Patient Safety Zone
No Congregating, Patrolling, or Demonstrating Between Signs
Pursuant to RSA 132:38
The law authorizes law enforcement to issue one written warning to an individual that violates the buffer zone. If an individual fails to comply after an initial warning, they will be issued a citation. Violators face a minimum fine of $100.
Signed into law by Gov. Hassan on June 10, 2014. However, the law has been put on an indefinite hold.
In July, 2014, Alliance Defending Freedom challenged the law in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire. The lawsuit, Reddy v. Foster, alleged the law was materially indistinguishable from the Massachusetts buffer zone law that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley. The case was voluntarily dismissed when the law was put on hold.
In 2017, a federal appeals court upheld the law.