Senate Judiciary Committee Pushes Legislation to Repeal NH Patient Safety Zones
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2022
CONCORD - On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive session on HB 1625, which would repeal our state’s patient safety zone law for reproductive health centers. This law passed in 2014 with broad bipartisan support. The Committee voted 3-2 in support of the bill. It will next go to the full Senate with an “Ought to Pass” recommendation to repeal the law.
Statement from Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“Every Granite Stater should have the right to access the health care they need without fear of intimidation or threats to their safety. Unfortunately, HB 1625 would jeopardize the safety and privacy of patients and providers at New Hampshire’s reproductive health centers by repealing our state’s carefully balanced patient safety zone law. As violence increases at reproductive health care facilities across the country, now is not the time to remove this important tool from the toolbox. Everyone, from patients to the Governor, deserves to feel safe. We strongly urge the full Senate to reject HB 1625.”
- HB 1625 would repeal NH’s patient safety zone law, passed with bipartisan support in 2014 to protect patient and provider safety and privacy at reproductive health centers.
- The original law allows health centers to establish flexible and optional patient safety zones of up to 25 feet and it was intentionally designed to strike a balance between patient safety and an individual’s First Amendment rights.
- The attacks on reproductive health centers continue to escalate; on December 31, 2021, a Planned Parenthood in Knoxville, Tennessee was destroyed by an arson attack. We know that as states move to ban abortion across the country, anti-abortion protestors will travel to states that still allow abortion care - and we need to proactively protect the safety of patients and providers.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 10,000 patients at these sites. PPNNE was named a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey, the national leader in health care consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes PPNNE as a top-performing health care organization, achieving the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience, out of more than 20,000 medical practices.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.