NH pro-Roe resolution: tie vote in committee

A proposed resolution in praise of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade will go to the floor of the New Hampshire House with no recommendation after a tie vote in committee this morning. Despite amending HR 6 to say that it “recognizes” rather than “commemorates” Roe, supporters could not muster a majority. A motion to pass the amended resolution failed on a vote of 8-8 in the Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs committee.

The near-party-line vote saw seven Democrats in favor of passage joined by Republican Rep. Susan Emerson of Rindge. Seven Republicans opposed the resolution and were joined in the vote by Democrat Rep. Susan Ticehurst of Tamworth.

Rep. Richard Meaney (R-Goffstown) was critical of errors he found in the resolution, adding that he found the entire proposal unnecessary. Rep. Thomas Sherman (D-Rye) called HR 6 “horribly tormenting for me,” even though he supports Roe. “I was elected to bridge differences and work together. This kind of resolution just creates differences.” Rep. Bill Nelson (R-Brookfield) added “I think this opens old wounds.” Ticehurst, a first-term representative who identifies herself as pro-choice, said at the hearing that she could not vote for such a “divisive” resolution.

Rep. Laurie Harding (D-Lebanon), committee vice-chair and a co-sponsor of the resolution, affirmed her full support of the Roe decision but acknowledged that she had not anticipated HR 6’s impact on her colleagues. “This was a lesson for me.”

HR 6 is likely to go on the House calendar for next week.