Yesterday, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law a dangerous piece of legislation that further erodes the freedom of speech of pro-life activists. In 30 days abortion businesses will have the right to establish 25-foot buffer zones around their premises.
New Hampshire is now the 17th state to enact legislation to “protect” women entering abortion businesses and the 4th state to state specific distance laws by which pro-lifers must abide.
Following the signing, Priests for Life National Director Fr. Frank Pavone issued a statement calling for civil disobedience to the new law:
This is an unjust law, not only from the perspective of free speech, the regulation of which must be content-neutral in order to be Constitutional, but also from a perspective that is antecedent to the Constitution. This law attempts to stop those who are trying to save human lives, and therefore violates natural justice. Because of its injustice, and because of the teaching of the Church that calls for conscientious objection to such laws, this law has no claim on conscience and should be directly disobeyed and violated.
Regardless of one’s personal opinions about abortion, this law should startle and disturb us. America was built as a land of freedom of expression and freedom of belief. True incidents of intimidation by pro-lifers are infinitesimal.
(As I wrote in my last article on this topic, incidents of violence by abortion rights advocates are comparably quite common.) Because of some complaints (none of which, to our knowledge, actually resulted in charges or prosecution), freedom of speech has been seriously attacked and damaged in New Hampshire. In this new world of “play nice and get along,” freedom has been sacrificed for the sake of niceties.
That should frighten all true patriots.