CONCORD - Last night, Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The draft majority opinion, written by Justice Alito, openly overrules Roe and Casey, stating that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.”
It is important to note that while this opinion is still a draft and abortion is still legal across the country (though only up to six weeks of pregnancy in Texas), this leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.
If the Supreme Court allows states to ban abortion, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, but abortion will still be legal in New Hampshire until 24 weeks.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“To be clear - abortion remains safe and legal in New Hampshire. Granite State providers are committed to continuing to deliver this critical care. But yesterday’s Supreme Court leak makes clear that our deepest fears are coming true. We are at a crisis moment for abortion access and we don’t have a moment to spare.
Elections matter. The future of reproductive rights in the Granite State depends on the election of lawmakers who will fight to ensure abortion is safe, legal, and accessible - no matter what.
At Planned Parenthood, we know that banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion care. Patients who need to access abortion should not face the shame and overwhelming hurdles that will come from this decision. And we will do everything we can to help those patients get abortion care safely.”
New Hampshire Abortion Restrictions:
- Currently, New Hampshire law prohibits abortion at or after 24-weeks gestation, with limited exceptions for the life of the pregnant person. This law, passed as part of the state budget in 2021, also mandates ultrasounds for every person seeking abortion care at every stage of pregnancy, regardless of medical necessity. Legislation has been passed by the House and Senate that would add a critical exception for fatal fetal diagnoses to this law and repeal the ultrasound mandate provision; HB 1609 will next go to Governor Sununu’s desk.
- New Hampshire minors are required to notify a parent/guardian prior to an abortion; a judicial waiver is also an option.
Governor Sununu’s Past Statements and Actions Related to Roe v. Wade and Abortion Access in New Hampshire:
- After the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Governor Chris Sununu stated erroneously that the case was not related to Roe v. Wade: “No, I’m not really paying attention to that case, and we’ll see where it goes, but that case does not decide Roe v. Wade.”
- In 2018, Sununu put his full support behind Justice Kavanaugh. Because of his appointment to the Supreme Court, it is now very likely, as the SCOTUS leak indicates, that by June half of our country could lose access to safe, legal abortion.
- In 2020, Sununu vetoed the Reproductive Health Parity Act, which would have removed financial barriers for people seeking access to abortion.
- On June 25, 2021, Sununu signed New Hampshire’s first abortion ban in modern history into law. Sununu’s abortion ban criminalizes doctors, requires forced ultrasounds for all people seeking abortion care, and fails to make excemptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal diagnoses.
- Polling released in July, 2021 from the UNH Survey Center shows that New Hampshire’s 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 UNH Survey Center polling also shows that only 31 percent of Granite Staters support the provision signed by Governor Sununu that mandates medically unnecessary, often invasive ultrasounds before abortion care at all stages of pregnancy.
- 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.
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 6 health centers in Claremont, 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.