Senate vote comes as states nationwide advance abortion restrictions and bans
CONCORD — Today, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H) voted to support the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), legislation that would help protect abortion rights in New Hampshire and across the country. Their votes reflect the views of Granite Staters and the fact that 80% of Americans want abortion to be legal. Despite Senators Shaheen and Hassan’s support, the legislation failed to meet the Senate’s 60-vote requirement to advance.
WHPA would establish a statutory right to provide and receive abortion services, free from harmful bans and unnecessary restrictions. Passing WHPA is especially critical since the Supreme Court may overturn or severely undermine the protections established by Roe v. Wade later this year, and state legislators have been emboldened to introduce an onslaught of abortion restrictions.
Statement from Kayla Montgomery, VP of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“Granite Staters know that everyone deserves access to safe, legal abortion free of political interference and unecessary barriers, Unfortunately not all our elected officials, including the New Hampshire Senate President, think people should make their own decisions about their reproductive freedoms. Their hostilities to sexual and reprodutive health care led them to enact the first abortion ban, with virtually no exceptions, in modern New Hampshire history.
We are deeply grateful to Senators Shaheen and Hassan for standing up for our health and rights, and voting to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would secure reproductive freedom at the federal level. Both our US Senators represent New Hampshire values in D.C. and have been champions fighting for our rights, our courts, our laws, and the ability of people across the country and around the world to access reproductive health care.”
Last year, in a historic vote, the House of Representatives, including Rep. Kuster and Rep. Pappas, passed the Women’s Health Protection Act. Abortion restrictions are unpopular: 80% of Americans want abortion to be legal. Nearly 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Passing WHPA is one essential step to creating a future with true reproductive freedom.
- Recent UNH Survey Center polling released in February, 2022, shows that New Hampshire overwhelmingly supports Roe v. Wade. Across the state, 65% of Granite Staters want the new Supreme Court Justice to be someone who would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade - including a majority of registered Democrats, registered undeclared, and registered Republican voters. Just 20% of Granite Staters want the next Supreme Court Justice to vote to overturn Roe.
- 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 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.