3 Things Your Reps Should Know About Informed Consent (HB 483); Vote is Tomorrow

Finally, the New Hampshire House should vote on HB 483 tomorrow, March 13. Yea or nay: does a woman have a right to informed choice when she is deciding whether or not to abort a pregnancy? Defeating the bill is a priority for the Democratic majority. Several GOP reps have informed me that the leadership of the Republican minority has chosen not to promote HB 483. That is not a surprise in view of last year’s votes against the Women’s Right to Know bill (HB 1659) by now-Minority Leader Gene Chandler and Minority Whip Shawn Jasper.

Calls and emails are in order. Find your legislator’s contact information here. A representative who gets information about the bill only from the committee-majority report in this week’s House calendar will be in the dark.  A few points to ponder:

  • Think about the 24-hour waiting period. Without it, there’s nothing to prevent “drive-through” abortion: confirm pregnancy, provide whatever information the abortion provider sees fit to give, and do the abortion all in one office visit. Women deserve better. 
  • Don’t be fooled by talk of “patient-provider relationships.” One of the provisions of HB 483 is that a woman should know the name of the actual abortion provider 24 hours before the abortion is performed or the abortion drug is administered. At the committee hearing, representatives of abortion providers objected to that. Would it be an administrative inconvenience for them? In any case, so much for a relationship.
  • Calling abortion “safe,” as the report in the House calendar does, is an unwarranted assumption.  Remember, the state of New Hampshire does not even know how many women in the state have an abortion in any given year, or if there are complications, or who performs the procedures. The majority committee report relying on abortion being “safe” is thus based on faith, not data.

The women who led the charge on HB 483, Reps. Cormier and Peterson, have consistently and adamantly affirmed that this bill is about information and choice. The plain language of their bill bears this out. The majority blurb in the House calendar says the bill “impose[s] ideologically driven obstacles” to women seeking abortion. Factual information about the procedure to be performed; 24 hours’ notice of the name of the practitioner; information about pregnancy options; risks involved in carrying the pregnancy to term: where’s the ideology?

I’ll post the result of the vote and a link to the roll call as soon as they become available.