By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD- Just two days after a leaked draft US Supreme Court ruling stating Roe vs. Wade is about to be reversed, reproductive health care was at the forefront of elected officials’ concerns.
And on Wednesday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives repeatedly voted against efforts to add proactive protections for abortion access before 24 weeks to New Hampshire state law and constitution. the majority project opinion, written by Judge Alito, openly cancels deer and Caseystating that “Roe was terribly wrong all along” and “we argue that deer and Casey must be cancelled. »?
Kayla Montgomery, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said: “The continued refusal of the majority of the House of Representatives to even consider legislation to protect access to safe and legal abortion in New Hampshire is nothing short of an insult to Granite Staters, especially given this week’s shocking Supreme Court draft decision decimating abortion rights and reversing Roe v. Wade.
“While abortion remains safe and legal before 24 weeks in New Hampshire – for now – we are the only state in New England that does not have proactive protections for abortion rights enshrined in state laws. state laws. We are an island and the rights of Granite Staters are at stake in the future,” Montgomery said.
NH ABORTION LIMITS
Governor Chris Sununu was asked about the state’s new 24-week abortion ban that went into effect January 1, 2022. Legislation is headed to his office that will amend the law to address some concerns raised by providers and patients.
Sununu said he did not support many of the ban’s provisions, such as the criminalization of health care providers, from the start, but had to sign the bill because it was part of the government’s biennial budget. ‘State. He said he had fought to remove provisions for ultrasounds at every stage of a woman’s pregnancy as a provision for late-term abortion and that had been passed.
“It was a close vote and we had to make a lot of phone calls to get it done,” he said, noting he was pleased the Legislative Assembly had approved measures that provide exceptions to allow late abortions in case of fetal abnormalities. in which the fetus cannot survive outside the uterus.
“I would have liked to see other exceptions in there for rape and incest and the decriminalization of doctors and all that. But I made a commitment after it was written into last year’s budget that I would fight to make adjustments to expand access and options for women in making this healthcare choice. health and we did it. Can we do more steps? Sure. Can we do more? Of course,” he said.
Sununu said these are “first steps and we can take more steps down the road.”
When asked if he would support anti-abortion candidates in the upcoming election season, he said he wasn’t basing it on single issues.
He said New Hampshire would remain a pro-choice state while he was governor and said the 24-week abortion ban was considered common sense by many.
Asked about the potential of Roe vs. Wade to be overturned by the High Court this spring and its impact on Granite State, Sununu said the situation in New Hampshire is not changing.
“A woman’s right to have that choice is still in place as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow,” he said.
Senator Tom Sherman, D-Rye, a doctor who is running against Sununu for governor, said, “In 2019, Governor Sununu vetoed a budget that included $138 million in increased funding education and $40 million in property tax relief. In 2021, Governor Sununu signed a budget that required invasive and unnecessary ultrasound scans, criminalized doctors, and removed a woman’s right to make medical decisions with her doctor with no exceptions for rape, incest, or sexual abuse. fatal fetal anomaly.
“Women across New Hampshire have been advocating to undo some of the damage caused by the ban he signed, and now the governor is trying to take credit for their work. Sununu has already shown the women of New Hampshire that she cannot be trusted to stand up for them,” Sherman said.
FAMILY PLANNING CONTRACTS
Executive Advisor Cinde Warmington, the Concord Democrat, and Sununu are the only ones at the Executive Council table who have backed state contracts for abortion providers, even though that money can’t be used for abortions. .
On Wednesday, Warmington asked the governor to bring those contracts back to every meeting and hold other councilors accountable to the public for their vote.
Sununu said he would wait to see if there was any movement and has yet to hear from any of the councilors saying they are ready to change their vote.
“If we can get them to vote ‘yes’, absolutely,” he said.
EFFORTS TO REVIVE ABORTION RIGHTS LAWS FAIL
Also on Wednesday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives rejected multiple efforts to reinvigorate legislation that would add the right to abortion to state law and the New Hampshire Constitution (HB 1674 and RCAC 18).
“It was very disappointing to see the supposed party of small government and ‘personal liberty’ deny any discussion to safeguard reproductive freedom for all Granite Staters,” Deputy House Democratic Leader Mary Jane Wallner said. D-Concord, in a press release. “Unfortunately, the GOP’s position on this is clear – they have repeatedly voted to block discussion of bills protecting reproductive freedom, and the Republican majority leader has even had the audacity to reject the attacks. against reproductive freedom as the “outrage of the day.” On the contrary, for hundreds of thousands of people in New Hampshire, the GOP’s actions are the outrage of the century.