The New Hampshire Senate rejected pro-abortion legislation Thursday that would have created a state constitutional right to abort unborn babies.
The state Senate voted 14-10 along party lines to defeat the pro-abortion amendment, after some Republicans spoke about the moral duty to protect unborn babies, WMUR 9 reports.
State Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, questioned Democrats for proposing the legislation because New Hampshire law already allows abortions up to 24 weeks “no questions asked,” according to the Associated Press.
“So why do we need to codify it someplace else? To make it less confusing? That is not going to happen. The law is the law,” Carson asked.
Although Republicans narrowly control the state legislature, some do not support pro-life legislation. Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, also is pro-abortion. In 2021, Sununu did sign a bill to ban late-term abortions, but he has said he will not support stronger limits, NHPR reports.
During the debate this week, Senate Democrats argued that New Hampshire needs a state constitutional amendment for abortion because future state legislatures could further restrict or ban abortions.
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Here’s more from WMUR 9:
“New Hampshire is one of three states where abortion is technically legal, but not protected,” state Sen. Becky Whitley, D-Hopkinton, said. “This is a very important distinction. This legal gray area is confusing and disconcerting to Granite Staters.”
Republicans defeated the legislation with some saying this is bigger than politics or policy.
“I have a higher authority, and my constituents are not my higher authority in this case,” State Sen. Carrie Gendreau, R-Littleton, said. “This is a moral and a biblical issue, it’s not a political issue.”
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional right to abortion in June, the pro-abortion movement has been trying to create a “right” to abort unborn babies in state constitutions through ballot initiatives. Vermont, California and Michigan passed pro-abortion constitutional amendments in November, and abortion activists are trying to advance similar measures in other states, including Ohio and Missouri.
Several states have pro-life constitutional amendments that voters passed in recent years, including Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Currently, 14 states are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same. Pro-life leaders estimate tens of thousands of babies’ lives have been saved since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.
Polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans support legal protections for unborn babies, especially after the first trimester or once their heartbeat is detectable.