The New Hampshire legislature had a busy week sorting through six different bills meant to restrict a woman’s right to choose, but in the end only two ended up passing.
The biggest piece of legislation — one that would have cut off federal funding not only of Planned Parenthood, but any organization that performs abortions, including local hospitals, was tabled in the senate by a 17-6 vote due to concerns that the bill would jeopardize Medicaid funding to the state if passed.
Also essentially blocked were bills to extend conscience clauses, institute a “fetal pain” ban at 20 weeks, and a 24-hour wait period prior to obtaining an abortion. The legislature did pass bills banning so-called “partial birth” abortions, which are already federally banned, and a plan to begin a state database for collecting statistics on abortions.
Reproductive health advocates in the state applauded the legislature’s moves on the majority of the bills. Elizabeth Hager, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire PAC Chair, said via statement:
Today’s votes are a clear rejection of the foolish crusade Speaker O’Brien has led this legislative session to restrict women’s reproductive healthcare. Like the majority of New Hampshire voters, we believe medical decisions should be made between a patient and their doctor, without governmental interference—and we’re glad to see the New Hampshire State Senate agrees!
This legislative session has been marred by attacks on women’s health and privacy, but today’s votes signify a return to the Granite State’s long, proud tradition of trusting women to make their own personal, private healthcare decisions in consultation with their doctors, family, and clergy.
The two bils that did pass will still need to be signed into law by the governor, who supports a woman’s right to choose.