Manchester Mayoral Race
By Maddie Kolaja | Oct. 14, 2021, 4:22 p.m.
If this year has taught us anything, it’s that who is elected into local government hugely impacts reproductive rights in our state. This is why it is essential that we are ready for November’s Manchester Mayoral Election.
Manchester is the home of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s flagship health center in New Hampshire, which has served Greater Manchester for decades. The health center provides critical reproductive healthcare to thousands of Granite Staters, including family planning services, STI testing, LGBTQ services, and abortion care. In order to allow the Manchester health center to keep providing life-saving health care to Granite Staters, it is critical that Manchester’s mayor be a champion for reproductive rights.
Here is an overview of where the candidates stand on reproductive rights:
Since being elected the first female mayor of Manchester in 2017, Mayor Craig has taken many significant steps to improve the health and safety of Manchester’s residents and promote inclusivity within the community.
Mayor Craig has been an outspoken critic of Governor Sununu’s budget for its harmful abortion ban, which criminalizes doctors and limits access to critical health care. She also denounced the budget’s language prohibiting educators from teaching issues related to racism and sexism in public schools, saying “State budgets should meet the needs of the people, not force unpopular and overreaching policy decisions.”
Mayor Craig was one of the first elected officials to oppose the Title X gag rule, which forced the majority of NH family planning providers out of the Title X program by requiring them unethically withhold information from their patients. She has made it clear that she will oppose funding cuts to Planned Parenthood because she understands the importance of access to essential health care.
In her time in office, Mayor Craig has also advocated for Medicaid expansion, extending health care coverage to thousands more Granite Staters. She was the first mayor to raise the LGBTQ+ pride flag at Manchester City Hall and has consistently advocated for women, LGBTQ+ people, low-income people, people of color, and other underserved populations.
Victoria Sullivan, a former Republican state representative, is running for mayor a second time after losing to Mayor Craig in 2019. Sullivan actively worked to strip away reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights while a state representative and has remained an opponent to reproductive rights throughout her campaign.
Sullivan outspokenly supported Governor Sununu’s budget, specifically praising its cruel abortion ban, which will hurt Granite State families in incredibly difficult situations. She also supports the budget’s ban on teaching about racism and sexism in public schools and has been a vehement opponent of teaching critical lessons on social injustice and prejudice.
As a state representative, Sullivan attempted to defund Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, risking health care access for thousands of New Hampshire patients. Additionally, she opposed SB421, a law that increases access to birth control, and lead efforts to ban medically-accurate sex education from New Hampshire schools. Sullivan also supported conversion therapy, the dangerous, pseudoscientific practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation, showing herself to be a clear opponent of LGBTQ+ rights.