Free Dissociation: NH Minors, Tanning, & Abortion


This afternoon, the New Hampshire House passed a bill (HB 136) to prohibit tanning facilities from tanning persons under 18 years of age. The vote was 199-162, and the measure now goes to the Senate. From the HHS committee’s Ought to Pass recommendation:

The committee considered three aspects. First was the safety of tanning and the preponderance of data which shows tanning to be unsafe. The business aspect was considered, but the industry itself, assured us it was only between 0.5-2% of their business. Finally, parental rights were discussed at length and the benefits of preventing children under 18 from tanning are similar to the benefits of attempts to minimize their exposure to tobacco.

So the House voted for a policy that says never mind if parents say it’s OK – the use of commercial tanning establishments by minors is so dangerous that it needs to be illegal. Minors aren’t mature enough to decide for themselves.

How many of the reps who voted for HB 136 think that minors are mature enough to make their own decision about abortion? Access to abortion but not to tanning … a jarring picture to me, but apparently not to everyone.

Here are the 37 reps who OPPOSED New Hampshire’s parental-notification-for-abortion law when it passed in 2011 (the override vote, 6/22/11) but SUPPORTED today’s tanning-booth bill.

Cheshire County: Cynthia Chase (D-Keene), Henry Parkhurst (D-Winchester), Bruce Tatro (D-Swanzey), Lucy Weber (D-Walpole)

Coos County: William Hatch (D-Gorham), Robert Theberge (D-Berlin), Yvonne Thomas (D-Berlin)

Grafton County: Susan Almy (D-Lebanon), Sharon Nordgren (D-Hanover), Suzanne Smith (D-Hebron), Charles Townsend (D-Canaan), Andrew White (D-Lebanon)

Hillsborough County: Jean Jeudy (D-Manchester), Pat Long (D-Manchester), Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsborough), Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua)

Merrimack County: Helen Deloge (D-Concord), June Frazer (D-Concord), Mary Gile (D-Concord), David Kidder (R- New London), James MacKay (D-Concord), Dick Patten (D-Concord), Chip Rice (D-Concord), Stephen Shurtleff (D-Penacook), Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord)

Rockingham County: Jacqueline Cali-Pitts (D-Portsmouth), Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Laura Pantelakos (D-Portsmouth)

Strafford County: Timothy Horrigan (D-Durham), Naida Kaen (D-Lee), Judith Spang (D-Durham), Peter Schmidt (D-Dover), Dale Sprague (D-Somersworth), Janet Wall (D/R, Madbury)

Sullivan County: John Cloutier (D-Claremont), Raymond Gagnon (D-Claremont), Andrew Schmidt (D-Grantham)

(Belknap & Carroll Counties managed not to have anyone on the list.)