by Steven Ertelt
March 22, 2006
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — The New Hampshire state House cast three votes against the position of pro-life advocates on key legislation. It defeated an unborn victims bill to protect pregnant mothers and their babies, rejected parental notification before a teen can buy the morning after pill, and adopted a resolution urging taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Lawmakers defeated a measure 212-129 that would have offered justice to pregnant women and their unborn children who are victims of violent attacks. It would have allowed prosecutors to hold criminals accountable for two crimes when they attack a pregnant mom and kill or injure her baby.
“If the father of an unborn child loses both his wife and his unborn child, he suffers only one loss under the laws of this state," Rep. Kathleen Souza, a Republican, said, according to a Manchester Union Leader report.
But opponents of the legislation contended it would infringe on abortions, even though abortions are not covered under the bill. Similar laws in other states target only violence against pregnant women and their unborn children and do not address abortion.
The House approved a resolution it plans to send to President Bush and members of Congress urging support for embryonic stem cell research.
Pro-life legislators tried to make the measure apply only to adult stem cells, which are the only kind to have produced any cures or treatments, but the House rejected the idea on a 216-111 vote.
Rep. April Mason said it was wrong to urge Congress to support embryonic stem cell research when so many lawmakers in New Hampshire oppose it and when it is many years away from ever helping patients, if at all.
The House also defeated HB 1682 that would have allowed parents to know when their minor daughters are considering purchasing the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.
The Union Leader also reported that the state House defeated HB 1719, a measure that would have defined human life as beginning at contraception.
Earlier this month, the state House voted against a pro-life measure that would protect pharmacists who have a moral or religious objection to dispensing the morning after pill.
Pharmacists there must undergo a mandatory training course before being allowed to dispense the drugs, but lawmakers said there is pressure to attend the training since fewer than 20% of the state’s pharmacists chose to attend the first two seminars held at the end of last year.
A December poll conducted by HCD Research of Flemington, New Jersey, which surveyed 859 pharmacists, found 69 percent of pharmacists believe they should have the ability to decline filling prescriptions for the morning after pill.