CONCORD, NH - Today, the New Hampshire Senate voted 14-10 to reject SB 181, legislation that would enshrine abortion rights in state statute before 24-weeks. New Hampshire is one of three states where abortion is legal but not protected. There are no affirmative abortion rights in New Hampshire state law.
The Access to Abortion-care Act would not amend any current state abortion laws, but would provide critical assurance to Granite Staters in this post-Roe environment.
An overwhelming majority of people signing in for the public hearing on January 31 supported SB 181: 1,430 people signed in to support the Access to Abortion-care Act, with just 424 opposed. The Senate considered similar legislation in 2022, before the overturning of Roe v. Wade; SB 436 was defeated after a split 12-12 vote. In 2022, Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) voted to support the Access to Abortion-care Act; today, he voted against the AAA.
After today’s vote, Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager at Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, released the following statement:
“While abortion remains safe and legal in New Hampshire, for now, we are the only state in New England without proactive protections for abortion rights, which leaves us vulnerable in an environment rife with attacks on abortion rights in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The majority of Granite Staters support access to safe, legal abortion and want lawmakers to protect our rights. Unfortunately, today the Senate refused to take common sense action to protect abortion rights in our state.
While we are disappointed by today’s vote, we are not disheartened. Granite Staters are counting on lawmakers to protect their right to make personal, private health care decisions without government interference and we won’t back down from the fight to protect abortion rights in New Hampshire. We will continue working to advance the Access to Abortion-care Act as it is considered across the hall in the House of Representatives.”
- In a new 50-state survey, PRRI found most Americans oppose abortion ban policies; 69% of Granite Staters believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
- August 2022 polling by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center shows that support for abortion rights in New Hampshire is at a historic high and nearly 6 in 10 voters disapproved of the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.
- Polling released in July, 2021 from the UNH Survey Center shows that New Hampshire’s newly-enacted abortion ban is deeply unpopular, with only one-third of Granite Staters in support of it. Nearly half of independent Granite Staters oppose this ban, as do 27 percent of Republicans.
- The truth is, most Granite Staters and most Americans support access to safe, legal abortion. If someone has decided to have an abortion, more than 8 in 10 respondents want the experience to be supportive and nonjudgmental, without added burdens or protesters, affordable and safe.
The New Hampshire Landscape:
- Without Roe, abortion is still safe and legal in New Hampshire until 24 weeks - for now. A bill to ban abortion would have to pass to further dismantle access to abortion.
- The restrictions on abortion in New Hampshire are clear: access to abortion at or after 24 weeks is banned, with no exceptions for rape or incest and doctors face criminalization.
- There are no protections in New Hampshire state law for abortion access. Instead, NH RSA 329:49 -- part of the 24-week abortion ban passed in 2021 -- states: “Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion.”
- New Hampshire is the only state in New England without proactive protections for abortion rights in state statutes or our state constitution.
New Hampshire’s Access to Abortion-care Act (AAA)
- House Bill 88 and Senate Bill 181 would put abortion rights into state statute. If passed into law, it would proactively protect the future of abortion rights in the Granite State.
- The Access to Abortion-care Act upholds long-held New Hampshire values by enshrining the right to make personal, private health decisions regarding abortion in law.
- The AAA does not change anything about current New Hampshire abortion laws; it does, however, provide critical protections to ensure that Granite Staters can work with their doctors to get the health care they need in the majority of situations.
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.