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June 3, 2021:

"Mr. President, I rise in support of the amendment.  This bill is about a difficult individual and family health crisis, one into which politicians should not intrude. 

I want to talk about my grandmother, a story she, in her 80s, wanted her grandchildren to know to understand what life was like for women in 1919.  She was born in 1898, met and married her husband, Tex Harper, a Navy captain, in Boston.  She became pregnant. It became evident the fetus was not developing normally, was grievously deformed, and could not survive outside the womb.  Nothing could be done for her, as in 1919 it was a $5,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison to end a pregnancy. 

What they could do was wait until she was well into her 8th month or so of her pregnancy and then induce labor by amniotomy, when a doctor's fingers or blunt instrument would pierce the amniotic sac and cause contractions, a procedure with considerable danger to my grandmother's health from infection such as puerperal fever.  There was nothing else she as a woman could ask, and in 1919, though she had turned 21, she couldn't even vote, so she was doubly silenced.  She had to wait, to wait, to wait, to wait. 

She survived.  Two years later, stationed at Pease Naval Shipyard where my grandfather captained submarine O-10, she became pregnant with my mother.  She worried not only whether this child would be born healthy, and whether she could survive the pregnancy, once again at the mercy of those who legislators had empowered to control her body and silence her voice.  This is not just one story from the past; let us not make it the story of New Hampshire women's lives today.  I urge us to pass this amendment."

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