by Steven Ertelt
March 14, 2008
Concord, NH (LifeNews.com) — The New Hampshire House has killed four pro-life bills that would have placed more limits on abortions for teenagers while a problematic counseling bill has advanced. Two of the bills required parental notification, one required parental consent, and the fourth required abortion practitioners to check the teen’s residency.
The fourth bill would have made sure abortion businesses are not doing abortions on teenage girls from other states who are seeking to avoid the notification or consent laws where they live.
The issue of parental involvement on abortions has been a crucial one in New Hampshire.
Abortion advocates sued over a previous state involvement law and has lower courts strike the language. The Supreme Court eventually ruled the law constitutional and asked the lower courts to fix it, but pro-abortion legislators voted the law off the books.
According to a Concord Monitor report, the House defeated the first parental notification bill 190-128, a broader one 207-111 and the consent bill 211-109. The bill regarding teen residency failed on a 211-109 vote.
Roger Stenson, the head of New Hampshire Citizens for Life, told LifeNews.com he’s disappointed by the votes.
"This is the same legislature that repealed New Hampshire’s Parental Notice law, the most reasonable abortion-related legislation imaginable," he said. "The new Democrat majority, in alliance with a small number of Repbulicans, is scornful of our families and our daughters."
Rep. Gregory Sorg said the votes concerned him and he worries that teens from nearby states will come to New Hampshire for secret abortions.
"New Hampshire is in danger of becoming an abortion destination state," he said, according to the newspaper.
Rep. Fran Wendelboe, who has been leading the fight to support parents, was the prime sponsor of one of the bills the House defeated.
Meanwhile, a pro-abortion bill that would allow adults and others besides a girl’s parents to bring her in for an abortion is advancing in the Senate.
Pro-life groups oppose the measure because it leaves parents in the dark while a "counselor" weighs abortion and pregnancy options with their daughters. The new proposal would make teens visit with a guidance counselor or health care professional beforehand, but parents are denied their right to know about their teenager daughter’s decision to have an abortion.
However, members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved it earlier this week.
Wendelboe previously told the Concord Monitor that this new measure shows abortion advocates were wrong to remove the notification law from the books because it left teens vulnerable.
"That’s the ‘Oh my god, we need to do something to give us some cover’ bill," Wendelboe said.
"I think it’s insulting to parents. I think it’s worse than no parental notification at all," she said, adding the bill "is saying is we’re not only going to take away your parental right, but we’re going to give it to a stranger."
Stenson also said the measure is choc full of problems and called it "a cynical collection of platitudes that purposely seeks to exclude parents from being involved in their young daughters’ most important decisions."
He also worries the bill will provide cover for men who sexually abuse teen girls.
"Adult males take minor girls they’ve got pregnant to abortion facilities to cover up their actions," he told LifeNews.com. "The Democrat majority and some Republicans have chosen to be enablers."
The measure has the backing of Gov. John Lynch, who signed the bill last year to take the notification law off the books.
ACTION: See www.citizensforlife.org for a list of legislators who voted to repeal Parental Notice.
Related web sites:
New Hampshire legislature – https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us