CONCORD -- Today, medical experts, patients, and advocates testified before the House Judiciary Committee in opposition to HB 622 and 625. Instead of prioritizing Granite Staters’ health during this global pandemic, some state lawmakers are focused on these cruel bills that target patients and doctors by banning abortion later in pregnancy.
In the afternoon, the committee also heard HB 430, which Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) also oppose. This bill would put patient safety at risk by repealing New Hampshire’s reproductive health center buffer zone law.
Kayla Montgomery, Senior Director of Public Affairs for PPNHAF and PPNNE, explained why one-size-fits-all bills like HB 622 and HB 625 don’t account the complexities of pregnancy:
“Bills like these, with arbitrary bans on abortion, simply can’t account for every situation, because pregnancies are not predictable. Each pregnancy and each circumstance is unique. That’s why when people are making personal medical decisions, one-size-fits-all laws like this one, don’t work. Families and medical providers need to be able to make the best decisions in each circumstance, not be bound by a single policy or law. Families involved in these unique circumstances deserve our compassion and support — not judgment and certainly not government interference.”
Dana Peirce, of Yarmouth, ME, where abortion is banned after viability, shared the challenges her family faced accessing abortion later in pregnancy on the other side of the country after her son has a fatal fetal diagnosis:
“Unfortunately, our grief was then compounded by the limits on abortion rights in our country. Those restrictions meant that we had to fly across the country and pay $25,000 cash...the majority of women in my situation in this country would not have been so lucky."
Courtney Jones, chair of the New Hampshire Section Chair for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, through written testimony highlighted the fact that these bills would interfere with the patient-provider relationship:
“Decisions regarding pregnancy termination are deeply personal and should be made by a patient in consultation with her physician free of interference from the New Hampshire State Legislature. The bills currently under consideration threaten to deny patients’ access to pregnancy termination and further seek to criminalize patients and physicians faced with difficult and private choices."
You can find the oral and written testimony submitted by patients and providers by clicking here.
Why PPNHAF and PPNNE oppose HB 622 and HB 625:
Instead of prioritizing public health, the state legislators who have introduced these bills are trying to take away Granite Staters’ freedom to consult with their doctor about their own health care decisions. The politicians pushing these bills are the same people who are trying to ban abortion entirely.
Let’s be clear: these bills are attempts to interfere with the patient-provider relationship. Each pregnancy and each circumstance is unique. That’s why when people are making personal medical decisions with their doctor, one-size-fits-all laws don’t work.
Abortion later in pregnancy often results from a patient’s health or life being at risk, or because of serious complications with a pregnancy. Achieving the best possible outcomes in extremely complex pregnancies depends on the outstanding efforts of highly trained physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners. These experts would be severely impacted by this bill because a court would scrutinize the decisions they must make in real-time, high stress situations, when their only concern should be the patient.
Why PPNHAF and PPNNE oppose HB 430:
HB 430 would put patient safety at risk by repealing New Hampshire’s reproductive health center buffer zone law. This law which passed with bipartisan support in 2014, is designed to strike a balance between patient safety and free speech. Everyone deserves to feel safe when accessing the health care they need.
Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, who submitted written testimony against HB 430, highlighted the importance of protecting patients at the city’s PPNNE health center:
“New Hampshire’s current bipartisan buffer zone law protects the privacy and safety of those utilizing services provided by Planned Parenthood, while also protecting resident’s First Amendment Rights, and I urge you to vote against repeal.”
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)