Business hours? Just chillin’.

Once in force – meaning as soon as Governor Hassan signs it – New Hampshire’s buffer zone law will put “up to 25 feet” between abortion facilities and people who wish to give silent, prayerful witness against the carnage.

The zone will only apply during business hours, according to the soon-to-be law. So what are the business hours?

Are they hours posted on the door of an abortion facility? If so, prolifers won’t be able to read them, since they can’t approach the facility unless they’re heading inside as an employer, client, contractor, or public employee such as a police officer.

Are they hours posted online? What if a pro-life witness comes in good faith to stand within 25 feet of the facility, only to discover that the hours posted online have changed? Written warning, I suppose – and any subsequent infringement, whether it’s five minutes or five years away, would mean a citation and a minimum $100 fine.

What if a facility stays open late or opens earlier than usual for some reason – a patient needing extra time, for instance? How will anyone know that there’s “business” being conducted?

We already know that the size of a particular zone will be up to the individual abortion facility. Sounds like hours of zone enforcement will be up each facility, too, in the absence of clear posting of hours on the outside of a facility, visible from the edge of the “buffer.”

Of course, every business controls its own hours. That’s as it should be. The trouble with applying that to a buffer zone law: now, selected businesses will be able to control access to public property at all hours, simply by announcing that “business” is going on, even retroactively. A pro-life witness present in good faith outside a facility, thinking she’s legal because it’s after hours, could find herself cited. All it would take is an abortion facility employee calling the police to claim that “business” was being conducted at the time the witness was present.

“So stay 25 feet away 24/7,” someone might say.

That’s what’s known as a chilling effect.

4 Comments

  1. Janine Enger

    Bring the masses of pro-life warriors to these locations on Saturday’s and/or Sunday’s to pray and witness. And, if that doesn’t get the attention of the Governor, then bring the masses to the state capital in Concord, or another high public venue place such as the Verizon Center, to bring forth awareness of what is being taken from the people of NH. Which is, LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!.

    Why should anyone be made to give up their first amendment right of FREE SPEECH? Just because a business doesn’t particularly like a particular message? This should not be allowed. Once this freedom is taken from the American people how does anyone intend to get it back? Why did people fight, and die for this privilege?

    Where are all the Bishops, priests, ministers, nuns, faithful community members who support life? Do they even know the extent of harm about to be caused to them with this buffer zone? Has anyone placed an ad in the Union Leader, or other papers throughout NH to get the word out that an important freedom is about to be yanked away from them? I’m writing from Florida so I’m not privy to this information.

    This is just the beginning of ways to peacefully combat this complete tyranny about to invade the state of NH. Don’t let your FREEDOM OF SPEECH be taken away from you, because it’s just a matter of time before ALL FREEDOMS will be stolen from you. You HAVE RIGHTS. Freedom of speech is at the top of that list.
    God Bless You!

    TJTM,
    Pro-Life Advocates
    Ralph & Janine Enger

      • leavenfo

        Hi, Deb – my reply to Janine’s comment is meant for you, too. Take heart, though. We may be discouraged, but we’re not defeated, even by a law like this. Thanks for reading!

    • Ellen Kolb

      The turnout by pro-life people was great at the legislative committee hearings. As for people who support abortion but are pro-First Amendment, most are sitting this one out. The NH Civil Liberties Union agreed with the sponsors that the bill is about “safety and balance.” That seems to mean “Abortion trumps the Bill of Rights.”

      Bishop Libasci has spoken out against the bill, and the Diocese has had representatives at every hearing to express opposition. A few priests have spoken up. Aside from that, the lack of action by leaders of faith has been frustrating.

      You’re right – newspaper ads would reach many people and would set off some alarms. No one with adequate resources has stepped forward to buy such ads. I’m grateful to the editorial writers at the Union Leader, who have come out against the bill.

      Sadly, the majority of New Hampshire voters who went to the polls in 2012 chose to elect anti-First-Amendment politicians (in both parties) who are happy to give special privileges to the abortion industry. That’s what happens when one party chants “jobs and the economy” like a mantra while the other party yells “war on women!” without a reply.

      I’m grateful for people like you who care enough to be concerned about this. There are good pro-life people in New Hampshire who haven’t quit yet – and no law will change that. You’d be happy to see how many young people here are stepping up to defend life.

      God bless you both, and thanks for reading.

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