Abortion is on the ballot and NH is at a crossroads
By Kayla Montgomery | Nov. 7, 2022, 3:25 p.m.
One in three women have lost access to legal abortion in their home state since Roe v. Wade was overturned. While abortion remains safe and legal in New Hampshire before 24 weeks for now, without federal constitutional protections or an affirmative right in state law, the future of abortion access depends upon who we elect on November 8 to represent us at the State House and in Congress.
Poll after poll shows Granite Staters are concerned about abortion rights - and rightfully so as the attacks on reproductive health and rights have increased dramatically over the last two years.
In 2021, Governor Sununu signed into law our state’s first abortion ban in modern history, which mandated forced ultrasounds for all abortion care, regardless of medical necessity, and prohibited abortion at or after 24 weeks with no exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal diagnoses. Sununu’s abortion ban would send doctors to prison for doing their jobs and providing care to patients in need. In the last biennium we saw a dizzing amount anti-abortion bills, including one to essentially elimate abortion in New Hampshire (HB 1477) and one that would allow any man - even a stranger - to petition the courts to stop a woman form obtaining an abortion (HB 1181).
In the last year, Sununu’s Executive Council - the four individuals he endorsed and campaigned with - has voted four times to defund family planning providers like Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, jeopardizing access to birth control, STI testing and treatment, and cancer screenings for thousands of Granite Staters.
In the last month, Sununu’s Executive Council refused to fund routine contracts for after-school sex education programs in Manchester and Claremont that are targeted to at-risk youth, including pregnant and parenting teens and require parental consent for participation. Because of their vote, fall classes in Claremont have already been canceled.
Anti-abortion politicians know their position and their votes are out of touch with New Hampshire values. They would rather have a siloed conversation about inflation than acknowledge our reproductive rights and economic vitality are intertwined or admit they’re willing to trade our fundamental freedoms for another business tax cut.
The decision of if, when, and how to start or grow a family is deeply personal and impacts all facets of our life. Studies have shown that women who are denied access to abortion experience lasting economic hardship and insecurity, including an increase of household poverty, higher unemployment, lower credit scores, increased debt, and increased rates of eviction.
We know Granite Staters aren’t single issue voters. But without access to the full range of reproductive health care - including safe, legal abortion - we cannot have full control in any other realm of our lives because it will be subject to political whim and the oversight of lawmakers in Concord and Washington, D.C.
Our state has a long, proud, bipartisan history of protecting reproductive freedom, but political winds are shifting.
Republicans and Democrats came together 25 years ago to repeal pre-Roe abortion bans and until last year, a modern abortion ban in our state seemed unthinkable because leaders across the political spectrum believed in privacy and limited government involvement in personal health care decisions. Unfortunately, national anti-abortion politics have seeped into our state. While the majority of Granite Staters still strongly believe abortion should be safe, legal, and accessible, our elected officials increasingly do not represent our values.
Every state level elected official is up for reelection this year. Your vote is your opportunity to voice your opinion about the direction New Hampshire is headed in and change tack.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund PAC endorsed a slate of candidates who are proven reproductive rights champions, including Dr. Tom Sherman for governor and Dana Hilliard, Cinde Warmington, Katherine Harake, Kevin Cavanaugh, and Shoshanna Kelly for Executive Council. For a list of endorsed state senate candidates, and to find out which candidates are on the ballot in your town, please visit ppnhaf.org.
New Hampshire is at a crossroads. Abortion is on the ballot on November 8 and New Hampshire voters have a choice to make. We can continue down the path of additional abortion restrictions and roadblocks to birth control and sex education OR we can change direction and elect leaders who will protect our rights. The road we choose will make all the difference