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New Hampshire Argues Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Is Legal


New Hampshire says its law allowing abortion clinics to create buffer zones is different from a Massachusetts law struck down last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In response to a lawsuit, Attorney General Joseph Foster argues the law provides for a flexible zone of up to 25 feet, not the strict 35 feet in the Massachusetts law. He also says zones would vary by location and may not exist at all at clinics where no problems exist.

Backers say the law is needed to protect women and clinic staff from harassment. Opponents, including the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, say the zones violate their right to free speech.

ADF, which brought the lawsuit, says the flexibility of zones doesn't mean they're constitutional.

A federal court hearing is scheduled Friday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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