New Hampshire House Approves Two Pro-Life Abortion Bills

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2012   |   6:08PM   |   Washington, DC

The New Hampshire House today approved two pro-life bills on abortion including HB 1659, the Women’s Right to Know Act, which is based on model legislation from Americans United for Life. The House also approved a ban on partial-birth abortions.

With the help and consultation of Americans United for Life, the New Hampshire House sent to the state Senate the two pro-life measures. Charmaine Yoest, AUL Action’s president told LifeNews she was delighted by the news.

“Informed consent is a bedrock of medical practice. But for too long, abortion providers have hidden certain information from women seeking abortion—information such as the risks abortion carries, and even the name of the physician who is going to perform the abortion,” she said. “Women in New Hampshire deserve to be given vital information before making an abortion decision so they can make a truly informed ‘choice.'”

HB 1659, sponsored by Rep. Jeanine Notter, will protect women seeking abortion by providing basic informed consent rights. At least 24 hours before the abortion, abortion providers must give women information on the physical and psychological risks of abortion as well as the probable gestational age and characteristics of her child. Women are also to be given state-prepared materials containing objective information about abortion and potential services available.

The House passed the bill to the state Senate on a 189-151 vote with pro-abortion and pro-life advocates different on the bill, according to one newspaper:

Jennifer Frizzell with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England said the 24-hour delay could be especially punitive for women in the North Country and other rural parts of the state.

“Today’s legislation exemplifies the meaning of government overreach into private personal medical care, forcing women who need reproductive health care to watch a government-created video with political propaganda and forcing health care providers to give medically unsound information,” Frizzell said.

Cornerstone Action NH said it had been closely following the measure and challenged the assertion that it in any way interfered with a woman’s privacy.

“We have to wonder about ‘providers’ who think this will interfere with business,” the socially-conservative group said in a recent statement. “A woman having an abortion deserves to be offered accurate information so that her choice is truly informed. Women’s health and safety should take precedence over the convenience and habits of abortion providers.”

Rep. Lenette Peterson, R-Merrimack, noted 31 states have similar laws that require doctors hand out information about the dangers that could arise from abortion prior to the procedure.

“In order for women to be in control of their health care, it is essential they receive any and all information about any procedure, including abortion,” Peterson said.

In addition to this bill, the New Hampshire House approved HB 1679, sponsored by Rep. Ross Terrio, which bans partial-birth abortion. According to the Nashua newspaper:

Wednesday, the Republican-dominated House also endorsed a bill to ban so-called partial birth abortions, HB 1679. A third bill, HB 1723, would relax the year-old state law that compels a minor girl to notify a parent before getting an abortion.

Any girl who doesn’t want to have to notify a parent can ask a judge for permission to bypass that requirement. Current state law requires judges to hold such a bypass hearing and make a ruling on it within 48 hours.

The proposed change would lengthen that period to up to five days so judges would not have to decide these cases on the weekends.

AUL Action calls on the New Hampshire Senate to pass these bills. Should the legislature approve them, pro-abortion Gov. John Lynch, who is decidedly in support of abortion, would likely veto them.