House and Senate Approve SB 66 Amendment

Update to recent post: In the final legislative session of 2017, the New Hampshire House and Senate accepted an amendment to SB 66 to correct a drafting error. The bill still has the 20-week provision that drew the ire this month of some pro-life activists.

Barring yet another unexpected detour, the next stop for the fetal homicide bill should be Governor Sununu’s desk. Given his expression of support for such legislation, signing this one ought to be easy. I’ll certainly encourage him to do so. His office phone number is 603-271-2121.

 

 

Council Okays Contracts

Update to earlier post: the New Hampshire Executive Council has voted 4-1 to grant contracts to two abortion providers. Concord’s Equality Center and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England were awarded the contracts for anti-HIV work.

The vote was 4-1, with District 5 Councilor David Wheeler casting the lone vote in defense of taxpayers who want to keep healthcare funds away from abortion providers. The contracts were supported by Councilors Joe Kenney, Andru Volinsky, Russell Prescott, and Chris Pappas.

Planned Parenthood’s half-billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding, calculated from all grants to PP affiliates including PPNNE, has just been augmented by $275,000.

On P.P. Funding: Observations from Karen Handel

This morning, New Hampshire’s Executive Council will vote on contracts with two abortion providers including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Yesterday, Karen Handel of Georgia won a seat in Congress.

So what does Handel have to do with a pending Council vote?

She has offered her thoughts about PP’s funding by governments and private agencies – and she has better reason that most of us for giving thought to the problem. Read here for a brief review of her experience with a breast cancer charity and with Planned Parenthood’s response when the charity decided all too briefly not to hand funds to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Here are some excerpts from Handel’s book Planned Bullyhood, written in the wake of the Komen/PP debacle that forced her out of a job a few years back. This might explain why Planned Parenthood Action Fund put over $700,000 into the GA-06 race in a futile effort to prevent Handel from winning a seat in Congress.

…[W]hat is clear is this: Planned Parenthood is a powerful and effective combat weapon for the left, willing to put its own political agenda— abortion and its government funding— ahead of women.

…The campaign started with Komen, but it certainly didn’t end with Komen. And it won’t end until we, as Americans, stand up to the perverse tactics of thugs like Planned Parenthood— and the politicians they pay for to do their dirty work.

…Planned Parenthood…said Komen’s decision [to end grants to PP] was political. It was not; it was an economic one— made in the best interest of Komen and, more important, the women that Komen serves….Komen’s board of directors was insisting on real, measurable results and even higher standards of excellence. The grants to Planned Parenthood— about $700,000 in 2011, or less than one-tenth of one percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion annual budget— were not high-quality grants.

…For Planned Parenthood, there was no such thing as neutral. You were either with them or against them. And anybody who didn’t actively support Planned Parenthood was the enemy and had to be destroyed— including a nonpartisan breast cancer foundation doing great work.

…Yes, I was and am staunchly pro-life, but portraying me as [a pro-life] hero wasn’t accurate, either. I believed— and still believe— that breast cancer is not about ideology. Yet when Komen gave up on being neutral and caved to the mafia-style tactics of Planned Parenthood and the left, Komen made it about ideology.

…The Komen incident also exposed an underlying and disturbing truth: Planned Parenthood and its allies are the worst kind of bullies. They were willing to do almost anything to advance their political agenda and ensure the continued flow of nearly $1.5 million dollars a day in government money to Planned Parenthood’s coffers.

…And the bullying won’t stop until it is exposed— and we stand up to it.

[from Handel, Karen (2012-09-11). Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure (No Series) (Kindle Location 164). Howard Books. Kindle Edition.]

I recommend reading Planned Bullyhood in full. Maybe send a copy to your Executive Councilor.

PP Contract Coming to Executive Council Wednesday, June 21

You may or may not be surprised to learn that New Hampshire’s abortion providers bid on contracts other than the familiar Title X family planning business. Supporters of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Equality Center will be at the New Hampshire Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, June 21 to watch the Councilors vote on HIV prevention contracts with the two agencies.

The contracts total $440,000, with 17% of those funds coming from federal sources and the rest coming from “other,” meaning state-level sources.

To view the contract letter, go to the Council’s June 21 agenda and click on item #50. 

From the contract letter: the request for proposal for this HIV prevention work elicited proposals only from PPNNE and the Equality Center. No abortion-free bidders applied.

Also in the contract letter is a warning that if the contracts are denied, individuals might lose access to HIV testing and referrals for care, “which may increase the transmission of disease throughout New Hampshire.” I guess that means that denying the contracts would not prompt PPNNE to shift any of its public policy funds to HIV prevention.

You can contact your Councilor about the contract vote if you are so moved. The June 21 meeting (10 a.m.) is open to the public at the Executive Council chamber on the second floor of the State House.


 

Dispute Over Fetal Homicide Bill

Five months after its introduction and first hearing, four months after its passage in the New Hampshire Senate, three months after its House hearing, and days after its House passage, language has been discovered in a fetal homicide bill that allegedly would permit assisted suicide and allow pregnant women to get away with murder.

House and Senate are scheduled to vote on a “fix” for that drafting error on Thursday, June 22. [Update, 6/22: both chambers voted to correct the error.]

New Hampshire Right to Life has made its objections to the bill public, based on other grounds: the fact that this fetal homicide bill would apply only in cases of pregnancies at or after the 20th week.

I have not heard any comment on either point from the bereaved families who have promoted fetal homicide legislation. [Update: see comment below from the grandfather of Griffin Donald Kenison.]

Anyone who wants SB 66 to be a personhood bill and is dissatisfied with the 20-week language now has another crack at House and Senate before June 22. In the event that SB 66 is killed, the retained HB 156 would remain open for further work and a 2018 vote on fetal homicide policy.

Whatever happens, I hope one question finds its way into the conversation: would SB 66 have allowed the New Hampshire Supreme Court in its 2009 Lamy decision to have upheld the defendant’s homicide conviction in the death of Dominick Emmons? The Court has the right to issue an advisory opinion on that.*

If SB 66 fails to address Lamy, then somehow the sponsors and the grieving families  have been wrong all this time about the bill’s purpose.

I don’t believe they’ve been wrong. Assuming no new news breaks abut the bill between now and June 22, I’m going to ask my reps to vote “yes” on correction to the drafting error in SB 66,** and to send the bill to the Governor’s desk.


*From the New Hampshire Constitution, under “Judiciary Power”:

[Art.] 74. [Judges to Give Opinions, When.] Each branch of the legislature as well as the governor and council shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme court upon important questions of law and upon solemn occasions.

** Statement by Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper, from the House Calendar (vol. 39, #29) for the June 22 session, boldface added:

“Also in this House Calendar is an enrolled bills amendment that the full House will vote on during session. An enrolled bills amendment is a legislative device that we use in New Hampshire to clean up errors in the legislative drafting process. We typically adopt these amendments when the House is in recess by having the Clerk meet with two members and having a session where a member fills in ‘the chair’ and another member moves and adopts the amendment. (We also introduce bills, form committees of conference, and read enrolled bills reports in these sessions.) SB 66 had a drafting error that did not express the intent of the General Court when both bodies passed the bill, and as such (and as is proper) an enrolled bills amendment to clarify the intent has been drafted. Because of the rather political nature of this bill (SB 66, including a fetus in the definition of ‘another’ for purposes of certain criminal offenses), I have decided that the full House will take up the amendment in session this coming week.”

Prayer and Discernment at Upcoming Retreat

The next 40 Days for Life campaign will begin on September 27, and applications are being accepted through June 23 from potential campaign leaders. Coincidentally, here in New Hampshire, the leader of the most recent 40DFL campaign in Concord is inviting people to join her on June 17 in a morning of retreat and prayerful discernment.

Beth Gaby has arranged the retreat in Concord, calling it Seeds of Grace. It’s happening tomorrow, but she still welcomes inquiries for more information (concord40dfl@gmail.com).

As an explicitly Christian ministry within the broad pro-life movement, 40DFL is founded on prayer. This retreat reflects that, with Mass and a rosary on the schedule as well as scripture study.

“Our goal…is to discern and map out a plan to grow a culture of Life in the greater Concord area.” Beth writes.

The retreat will be a time of calm, quiet, and reflection. No politics, no devices. I will not be live-tweeting the homily. (You’re welcome.)

Please, be with the participants in spirit and prayer on Saturday morning, even if you aren’t in attendance yourself.

a Granite State pro-life blog by Ellen Kolb

%d bloggers like this: