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Court upholds state’s law on buffers around abortion clinics

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld New Hampshire’s law allowing buffer zones around abortion clinics that supporters say protect women from harassment.

The state law allowing buffer zones up to 25 feet has been on the books since 2014, but no clinic has established one.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston said in its Wednesday ruling that anti-abortion activists had no standing to challenge the law because with no zones in place, their protests haven’t been affected.

Opponents say the law infringes on free-speech rights and shouldn’t stand just because clinics haven’t taken advantage of it. The plaintiffs’ attorney said Thursday they will decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court struck down a similar law in Massachusetts, but that law mandated buffer zones.