As a student at the University of New Hampshire, I strongly oppose HB 434 as it interferes with the relationship I have with my doctor and the care I receive. When I first saw HB 434, I was immediately alarmed that my health care would be compromised since it is an extreme bill that threatens the quality of my reproductive health care. It would adversely and directly impact those of us who are college students at public universities, who rely on these health services on campus, by instituting a “gag rule” on health care. This gag rule would prevent our on-campus providers from explaining all reproductive health options to us, including information about or referrals for abortion care.
Campus health services are the only accessible providers for me and students like me, especially those with limited transportation and lack of financial means to get health care.
When I go to the health center at UNH, I need to be able to trust that I’m given complete, medically accurate information. Especially during this pandemic as health care is even harder to access, I rely on this care more than ever and need to know all of my options. The Wellness Center has been the only true place I feel comfortable accessing services. I’ve visited the health care center on campus throughout my entire time at the University of New Hampshire, and each time has exceeded expectations. I trust the expertise of my doctors and nurses who have cared for me and given accurate and thorough information, including medications and referrals.
As a college student, I know that my peers who rely most on this care will be negatively impacted by this damaging legislation. Our UNH wellness center is the only accessible health care provider for many students living on and around campus, myself included. Students already facing immense challenges, especially during the pandemic, will be most affected, including those with low-income, LGTBQ+ individuals, and students of color. Being a student on campus with limited transportation, it is the only health center I have access to and this bill would directly impact the services that are provided to me. During a time where health care is most difficult to access, this bill would further harm students by taking that care away.
If HB 434 is passed, the trust the wellness center has established with every student would be diminished, especially when it comes to reproductive health, since medical professionals would no longer be able to relay every option available to patients, at no fault of their own, but rather at the fault of government interference. The only people that should make decisions about my health care are myself and medical providers. To think legislators have a say in my health care is violating my privacy as a college student and New Hampshire citizen. I want to make it apparent that patients, especially college students, should have the final say and decision on their health care, not legislators. I strongly urge the NH legislature to oppose HB 434.