HB 430 Restores Constitutionally Protected Free Speech Near Abortion Facilities

HB 430, The Sidewalk Free Speech Act, will repeal the current prohibition on gathering in a public area that is near a reproductive health care facility. Cornerstone strongly supports this bill. Not only does it address what is essentially a throttle on free speech in the state, the constitutionality of our current “buffer zone” is in question (a similar law was invalidated in Massachusetts under the First Amendment). A hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 9th at 2:00 pm. To register your support, go to our Take Action 2021 page and find specific action information for HB 430 under “LIFE.”

HB 430 is one of several bills related to right to life issues being introduced this session. (The most critical of these bills is HB 625, a prohibition on advanced late-term abortions.)

HB 430 argues that the 2014 restrictions currently in NH law (RSA 132:37-40) have never been actively enforced, serve no public purpose, and most likely would be found unconstitutional if enforcement was attempted. That has not stopped Planned Parenthood from working against repeal by directly soliciting their patients to contact elected officials.

Defending our freedom of speech has never been more important. It is not only guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution but is even more strongly protected by the New Hampshire Bill of Rights (Part 1 Article 22) which states that free speech shall be “inviolably preserved.” Despite this, our citizens face growing threats at every level of government from those who seek to suppress opposing ideas rather than debate them. Abortion draws strong views from both sides, but spirited discussion is a key purpose of freedom of speech and necessary for the health of our republic.

Governor Sununu agrees with us and has gone on record with his support for the repeal of the “buffer” zone provision. There has never been a more critical time to remove any attempted infringement on our inviolable right to free speech. Please do your part by expressing your support of HB 430 by contacting the Judiciary Committee and virtually signing into the February 9th hearing (you can do that immediately). For action information on these steps and for more details, go here now and find HB 430 under “LIFE.”

Photo courtesy of 40 Days for Life

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