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PPNNE/PPNHAF Testimony in Opposition to HB 562

HB 562: requiring informed consent prior to receiving an abortion procedure.

Committee: House Judiciary 

Date: February 16, 2023

Position: OPPOSE

The mission of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (“PPNNE”) is “to provide, promote, and protect access to reproductive health care and sexuality education so that all people can make voluntary choices about their reproductive and sexual health.”

PPNNE provides compassionate, honest, clear, and science-based information to patients and the general public so that everyone is able to make informed decisions for their health care. HB 562, however, is filled with misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of medication abortion, particularly mifepristone; it also requires a minimum 24-hour waiting period for all patients seeking abortion care in New Hampshire. It assumes patients do not have enough information to make informed decisions about their own bodies – which is insulting to women and has no place in the New Hampshire Legislature.

Here's the reality: barriers to abortion care, including waiting periods and misinformation about medication abortion, is part of a larger agenda to ban abortion outright in New Hampshire. For these reasons and more, we urge you to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on HB 562.

Everyone should have the ability to make decisions about their own reproductive lives and futures, including choosing the method of abortion that works best for their circumstances. When someone has made the decision to have an abortion, they should be able to get the best method of care for their circumstances, including medication abortion – and they should be able to access it without targeted and logistical barriers, such as an arbitrary waiting period.

To be clear, mifepristone – the first of the dual-pill protocol for medication abortion – is safe, effective, and has been used by more than five million people since the FDA approved it more than 20 years ago. More than half of all abortions in the United States are via medication abortion. Medication abortion is safe and effective for most people who want to end an early pregnancy, with a safety record of over 99%. Medication abortion makes care more accessible for Granite Staters, especially those who live in rural areas of the state, those who can’t take time away from work, or anyone who decides it is the best method for them.

Barriers and restrictions to abortion care have nothing to do with protecting a patient’s health – these are politically motivated attacks, and they are not based on scientific evidence or best medical practice. A 24-hour waiting period – or any waiting period – is a medically unnecessary restriction that contradicts public health organizations and medical societies’ guidance and best practices.  We urge the House Judiciary Committee to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate” on HB 562.

For more information contact: Liz Canada, [email protected], 603.686.3353 

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 5 health centers in Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. Last year we saw more than 10,000 patients at these sites. PPNNE was named a 2021 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey, the national leader in health care consumer and workforce engagement. Press Ganey recognizes PPNNE as a top-performing health care organization, achieving the 95th percentile or above for performance in patient experience, out of more than 20,000 medical practices.

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed  as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages  in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy