During Global Pandemic, Some New Hampshire Legislators Prioritize Banning and Restricting Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
For Immediate Release: Jan. 21, 2021
CONCORD -- In the middle of a global public health pandemic, a few New Hampshire legislators have prioritized taking away health care by introducing a package of cruel legislation targeting sexual and reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion.
While many Granite Staters are struggling to make ends meet during a public health crisis, these out-of-touch representatives have failed to offer solutions and instead introduced seven* bills to ban access to basic health care.
These bans and restrictions would disproportionately harm those who already face the greatest barriers to care, including people of color, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, people struggling financially, and people with disabilities.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, Senior Director of Public Affairs, PPNHAF:
“It is a shame that in the face of a true public health crisis, some politicians are still focusing on banning access to basic health care rather than protecting their constituents. These misguided priorities would weaken our public health system at a time when we need it the most. As we celebrate the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is resoundingly clear that these attacks are not what Granite Staters want their representatives to prioritize. The reality is, the vast majority of Granite Staters support access to safe, legal abortion -- and they do not want to see their elected officials rolling back the clock on reproductive rights. Supporters of reproductive health will keep fighting to ensure that our rights are protected, now more than ever.”
Nationwide, 77 percent of Americans say they do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned and 64 percent of people in New Hampshire believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. After almost a year of this global pandemic, New Hampshire legislators should be focused on expanding access to care, not creating more barriers or shaming and judging people who need an abortion.
This extreme package of bills includes abortion bans, denials of insurance, and a repeal of a patient safety zone -- all attempts by a few politicians to interfere with Granite Staters’ ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancies and reproductive health care.
Abortion Bans: Bans on abortions are deeply unpopular and not grounded in science. They intrude on patient-provider relationships by dictating to medical experts how to make complex medical decisions. Pregnant people deserve medically accurate information, compassion, and support — not judgment and shame.
HB622: AN ACT protecting nascent human life as a reasonable and valid state interest.
HB625: AN ACT relative to the protection of fetal life.
HB233: AN ACT relative to the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment.
HCR4: A RESOLUTION recognizing the authority of states to enact laws protecting the lives of the unborn and calling for a Constitutional Convention to propose a human life amendment to the Constitution.
Insurance Denial Legislation: This legislation seeks to prevent something that isn’t happening. Currently, state insurance does not cover abortion care and the Hyde Amendment bans the use of federal insurance for abortion.
Preventing people from using their health insurance coverage for abortion care is a discriminatory policy that is particularly harmful to people who are struggling financially, people of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants — who all disproportionately rely on Medicaid for their health care coverage.
HB434: AN ACT prohibiting the use of public funds for abortions.
HB596: AN ACT prohibiting public funding of abortions and establishing the New Hampshire foster care and adoption initiative fund.
Attacks on NH’s Patient Safety Zone: No one should face violence, harassment, or threats when accessing safe, legal health care. Everyone deserves to feel safe, from legislators to patients at health care facilities, particularly during these times.
HB430: AN ACT repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility.
*We are still awaiting the text for a Senate bill (LSR 2021-1006): relative to health facilities providing care in the declared emergency.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) is the largest provider of reproductive and sexual health care for women, men and young people across the State of New Hampshire. We serve New Hampshire residents through 6 health centers in Claremont, Derry, Exeter, Keene, Manchester and White River Junction, VT. In 2019, we saw more than 13,000 patients at these sites.
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. The Action Fund makes independent expenditures on behalf of or in opposition to targeted candidates for public office. PPNHAF maintains a separate, segregated political committee and fund to make direct campaign contributions to endorsed candidates (the PAC).