- “The decision establishes that it does not violate any constitutional rights to keep this option available…”
- “…today I am pleased that this ruling reaffirms the constitutionality of this law which strikes a balance…”
The decision does no such thing. It makes clear that there can be no constitutional test, no case at all, until a buffer zone is actually instituted under that law (which has not yet happened) and free speech rights are challenged as a result.
More on that in a moment…
In related news, rumor has it that the City of Concord has refused to give New Hampshire Right to Life permission to protest the opening of the movie “Trapped.”The city justifies the denial on the grounds that there is construction in front of the theater. So why won’t the city let them have their protest anywhere on the block? They don’t want them to have it at all.
If the City of Concord is infringing on NHRTL’s free speech rights NHRTL’s can seek relief by challenging the decision or the ordinance that is supposed to guide it. The City is betting taxpayer money that won’t happen; that NHRTL won’t spend its limited resources to file suit against the City of Concord over this. That is how the game is played.
The New Hampshire buffer-zone game has been playing out for almost a year but not in a way that would allow for a constitutional test.
The courts placed the buffer-zone law on hold pending the result of Reddy v. Foster, which the courts have said cannot be decided because the buffer-zone law was put on hold. Isn’t that ironic?
But the law is now no longer on hold. So if PPNHAF or Sen. Soucy–the prime sponsor, or any of the “women’s health-care centers,’ would like to find out if the law is constitutional or not (remember, the Massachusetts buffer-zone was tossed out by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional), they best get to imposing some. Then, and only then, will we discover if, to quote State Sen. Soucy,
“…this law… strikes a balance between privacy and safe passage and first amendment rights.”
One more point.
Both State Sen. Donna Soucy and PPNHAF VP Jennifer Frizzell, refer to this buffer zone as necessary for protecting women from either violence, harassment, or threats. Do you have documented evidence of that, here in New Hampshire? There has been no buffer zone in effect since before the trial. There must be something. Where are all the stories in the Concord Monitor of harassed and threatened women attempting to access “safe, legal healthcare“? I can’t find any.
Has the press been suppressing these stories?
Do you have press releases documenting your outrage at the institutional bias of a New Hampshire media that refuses to report these sorts of stories? Victims, witnesses, evidence, testimony…
So you will be instituting the buffer-zones immediately? You know, to protect women from the “violence, harassment, or threats” to which you claim they have been subjected. That would be the right thing to do.
But what does it say if you don’t? Every day you wait aren’t you subjecting women to this treatment you insist exists? What does that say about your commitment to safe, legal healthcare for these women? What does it say about you?
It says you really don’t care, doesn’t it? It says that you are a liar. That this is all just a game to you.
So get those buffer-zones in place, then we can find out if this law is as constitutional as you claim.
Update: The City of Concord has suddenly realized that the NHRTL permit should have been approved. NHRTL requested the permit before they made the decision to not grant permits because of the construction.
And for those interested the buffer zone repeal hearing and the hearing on HB 1661 are being held back-to-back tomorrow officially at 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm.
H/T to Beth. Thanks for all the great info!