Vote Against Reproductive Rights Come as Future of Medication Abortion Hangs in Balance
CONCORD, NH - Today, the New Hampshire Senate voted 14-10 in support of Inexpedient to Legislate on HB 88, the Access to Abortion-care Act, even though the New Hampshire House of Representatives passed it with bipartisan support and Governor Chris Sununu said he believes the New Hampshire Legislature should codify Roe v. Wade. HB 88 simply enshrines the tenets of Roe into state law.
When this bill came before the New Hampshire Senate in 2022, SB 436 had bi-partisan support.
The vote comes less than a week following an unprecedented decision from a federal court in Texas that could jeopardize the future of medication abortion nationwide and poses the greatest threat to abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year. Since Roe was overturned, the state of New Hampshire has not taken a single action toward protecting Granite Staters’ abortion rights.
After the vote, Kayla Montgomery, Vice President for Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund, released the following statement:
“It is shameful that the New Hampshire Senate refused to protect Granite Staters’ reproductive freedom at a time when abortion rights are under assault across the country. It is absurd that a handful of extreme lawmakers in Concord think they know better than individuals what is best for their lives and their bodies.
The majority of Granite Staters agree - everyone should have the right to make personal, private health care decisions in consultation with their medical providers, not politicians. Since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year and federal constitutional protections for abortion rights were decimated, New Hampshire residents have called on elected officials to give us back our rights because there is currently no legal right to an abortion in this country or this state. Today, Senate Republicans turned their back on the people of New Hampshire.
Today’s vote is beyond disappointing, but we will never stop fighting to ensure every Granite Stater has access to the reproductive health care they need, including abortion, no matter what.”
- A recently released survey from Breakthrough Campaigns conducted on behalf of Amplify NH shows that a supermajority of Granite Staters - 87% - support reproductive freedom and 64% of Granite Staters expect state elected officials to protect or expand abortion access in New Hampshire. Just 11% of Granite Staters want more abortion restrictions in the state.
- 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.
- NH RSA 329:49 says “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.
HB 88: New Hampshire’s Access to Abortion-care Act (AAA)
- House Bill 88 would put abortion rights into state statute. If passed into law, it would proactively protect the future of abortion rights in the Granite State.
- House Actions:
- Remote sign ins: 1,306 in support; 202 opposed
- NH House Judiciary voted 10-10 on both an “Inexpedient to Legislate” and “Ought to Pass” motion; HB 88 went to the full House with no committee recommendation.
- NH House voted 199-185 in support of Ought to Pass on HB 88
- Senate Actions:
- Remote sign ins: 1,231 in support, 319 in opposition
- NH Senate Judiciary voted 3-2 in support of “Inexpedient to Legislate” on HB 88
- NH Senate voted 14-10 in support of “Inexpedient to Legislate” on HB 88
- House Actions:
- The Senate version of the Access to Abortion-care Act, SB 181, was defeated 14-10.
- Testimony in support of HB 88:
- Letters in support of the Access to Abortion-care Act
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 and 2022 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.