November 29, 2021
(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today hosted a virtual press with representatives from New Hampshire’s family planning providers before the Supreme Court begins oral argument in a pivotal case that threatens the future of Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court will begin oral argument on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on December 1 in what is described as the most influential abortion case in nearly 50 years – a decision that would pave the way for states to criminalize abortions. If the Court annuls Roe vs. Wadeeighteen states will immediately ban abortions in their state.
Representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center also participated in the press event. Planned Parenthood’s Kayla Montgomery said her New Hampshire clinic has treated patients traveling as far as Texas since the state’s dangerous abortion ban went into effect.
“I lived through the aftermath of the pre-Roe era – I had friends in college who were forced to seek out unsafe, backstreet abortions because women across the country were denied access to essential family planning services We cannot allow Republican lawmakers to backtrack on women’s reproductive health and rights, which is precisely what the Mississippi case seeks to do. alarm” said Senator Shaheen. “Roe vs. Wade is not just a decision that impacts women, their health and their financial security – it also impacts generations of families. And it is devastating to see this extreme ideology find its way into the New Hampshire State House, first through the Governor’s budget enacted and more recently through the Executive Council’s decision to refuse a crucial funding to providers who offer the majority of family planning. services in the granitic state. I never thought I’d see these kinds of egregious privacy violations and egregious assaults on women’s personal health decisions ending up in the “Live Free or Die” state. No legislator has to tell women when or how they can start a family. There’s so much at stake in this case, that’s why Granite Staters and Americans across the country need to make it clear that they won’t allow Republicans to undo the progress we’ve made over the past 50 years. years.
“The Supreme Court case is a direct attack on decades of precedent set by Roe v. Wade. This is one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country and would take us back nearly 50 years ago,” said Senator Hassan. “The result would be devastating for women and the Supreme Court should not put the government in front of women’s most personal, difficult and complicated health care decisions. I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade and to help ensure that all women have the individual autonomy that is essential to their ability to thrive and essential to our democracy as a whole.
“For nearly five decades since the Roe v. Wade decision, the Granite Staters have lived in a country where access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right – today those protections are truly in play,” said Rep. Annie Kuster, founder and co-chair of the bipartisan task force to end sexual violence. “As an adoption lawyer for 25 years, I have worked with over 300 birth mothers making the most personal and difficult decisions of their lives. They have consulted with their families, loved ones and doctors , but no one has turned to government to make that choice for them. States across the country, including New Hampshire, have already passed legislation to restrict access to abortion, and we must do all we can to protect access to safe reproductive care for all Earlier this year, I helped pass the Women’s Health Protection Act — legislation to codify the constitutional right to abortion as established in Roe v. Wade. Whatever the Supreme Court’s decision in the case it will hear on Wednesday, it is essential that this bill be enacted to permanently protect the reproductive freedoms of women across the country.
“We must do all we can to draw attention to and oppose legislation that places a heavy burden on women and healthcare providers, because it is not who we are as people. Granite Staters. The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act and I hope there is a way forward to pass this legislation and codify Roe v. Wade, who enjoys strong support in New Hampshire and across the country. We can no longer rely on the Supreme Court to defend Roe and be the backstop as they have been – in this new era, it’s up to us to fight back,” said Rep. Chris Pappas.
“Here is the truth: one in four women of childbearing age in this country has had an abortion. Everyone knows and loves someone who has had an abortion. An individual’s ability to access this care is a matter of equality and freedom. But we are at a time of crisis for the right to abortion: the threat to the constitutional right to abortion has never been greater in our country. By next year, 26 states could lose access to abortion. Planned Parenthood, abortion rights advocates, and health care providers are grateful to the entire Congressional delegation for always standing up for the full range of reproductive health care services, including access to abortion safe and legal, regardless of a person’s income or zip code, because abortion is essential,” said Kayla Montgomery, vice president of public affairs, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England/Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.
You can watch the recording here.
In New Hampshire, there is no proactive abortion access protection in state law. Until recently, the New Hampshire Legislature benefited from a longstanding bipartisan commitment to privacy in personal medical decisions. In fact, in 1997 Shaheen, as governor of New Hampshire, repealed the only pre-Roe law on the books with the support of Republican majorities. But New Hampshire now faces unprecedented threats to reproductive rights at the state level.
In September, the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to terminate the contracts of family planning providers statewide. In response, the congressional delegation hosted a press event in September with representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center to discuss the dangerous consequences of the council’s vote. This followed the delegation’s letter to the Biden administration calling for the rapid distribution of additional aid directly to suppliers affected by the Executive Council’s decision.
The Executive Council’s vote is particularly egregious because it follows years of Trump administration attacks on women’s reproductive health, including President Trump’s implementation of the “Title X Gag Rule,” which barred the majority of New Hampshire family planning providers from receiving federal grants. subsidies. The delegation welcomed the announcement last month by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would approve a rule change to reverse the rule of Title X gag and help close the provider funding gap. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to provide support to New Hampshire family planning providers who will lose state funding under the New Hampshire budget bill.