CONCORD – On June 3, the Senate passed a budget that includes a cruel ban on abortion at 24 weeks with virtually no exceptions, including none for a fatal fetal diagnosis. Throughout this legislative process, lawmakers heard powerful opposition from dozens of medical experts, patients, and reproductive rights advocates. Instead of listening to experts, senators stripped the language of a policy bill and put it directly in the state budget.
This budget threatens Granite Staters’ reproductive health, criminalizes doctors, and adds new restrictions on abortion early in pregnancy through mandatory ultrasounds. This is the first abortion ban to pass the Senate in two centuries.
Senate Democrats offered a series of amendments that would help mitigate the harm of this extreme bill, including amendments to add exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and fatal fetal diagnoses, and additional maternal health exceptions. Each amendment, including one to strip the bill of criminal penalties, was rejected on party lines.
Finally, 14 senators rejected an amendment that would protect abortion rights up to 24 weeks, enshrining the tenets of Roe v. Wade into state law. Instead, some senators vocally made clear that they do not support abortion access at all.
Governor Sununu describes himself as “pro-choice” and in the fall said he is “not looking to make any changes” to abortion laws in New Hampshire (see 14:00), yet today, he said he would not veto the budget because of this abortion ban. He cannot claim to be “pro-choice” and support banning abortion.
Polling consistently shows how deeply unpopular abortion bans are. Voters across the political spectrum describe abortion bans as “taking away women’s rights and freedoms,” “government over-reach,” and “oppressive.” See below for further information detailing the unpopularity of these bans.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England on the Senate’s passage of the budget:
“This is an outrageous attack on reproductive health. Let’s be clear: this cruel abortion ban politicizes complex situations at the expense of truth and compassion. If this language becomes law, pregnant people will not be able to have the personal freedom to make complex decisions regarding their future and their family. They will be forced to remain pregnant, even if there is a known fatal fetal diagnosis. The senate voted to criminalize doctors with up to seven years in prison for simply doing their job, which is an affront to the actual medical experts who, day in and day out, care for women. Lawmakers are not medical experts and have no business dictating care in these complex circumstances.
Deeply shocking is the rejection of multiple amendments that would mitigate the harm that this bill will have. Governor Sununu must reject this budget and continue New Hampshire’s bipartisan tradition of protecting Granite Staters’ reproductive health and freedoms”.
Background on budget language (formerly HB625):
This language bans abortion after 24 weeks with virtually no exceptions, including none for the health of the fetus. It also would also criminalize health care providers with a class B felony and up to seven years in prison.
HB 625 threatens to erase New Hampshire’s long bipartisan history of supporting the freedom to make personal medical decisions without government interference. Each pregnancy and each circumstance is unique, and bills like this simply can’t account for every situation.
Abortion bans are deeply unpopular:
When asked what the experience should be like for someone who has decided to have an abortion, more than 3 in 4 voters say it should be as soon as possible, not judgmental, and without added burdens, and 96 percent say informed by medically accurate information
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 2020, we saw nearly 11,000 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.