The New Hampshire House has approved House Bill 560, also known as fetal homicide or Griffin’s Law, on a 208-155 vote. An amendment that would have gutted the bill was rejected 168-190. The bill now goes to the Senate.
A few things to keep in mind:
- The Senate has its own version of fetal homicide legislation, SB 40, which is scheduled for a Senate vote tomorrow morning. That is a separate measure, unaffected by today’s vote.
- The link to today’s House vote is here. Some of the “not votings” were actually excused absences. The record should be updated in the coming days.
- The next hurdle for Griffin’s Law is a Senate hearing, yet to be scheduled.
- In their floor speeches today, House opponents of fetal homicide legislation backed away from last year’s claim that such bills would inhibit assisted reproductive technologies. Instead, their main points were (a) that the bill gives a fetus “rights” and thus diminishes the rights of the mother, and (b) that the bill puts in jeopardy the health of a pregnant woman who becomes unable to speak for herself or have a designated proxy speak for her.
- …which reminds me that 38 states have some form of fetal homicide legislation. In all those states, pregnant women’s rights and health are intact, and Roe v. Wade is in full effect. Fetal homicide legislation does not interfere with women’s rights.
- Opponents of the measure will keep fighting it. Most of the fighting will go on out of the public eye, one private conversation at a time. If you haven’t spoken to your senator yet, what are you waiting for?
Representative Leon Rideout, chief sponsor of HB 560 and grandfather of Griffin, posted this as his response to the vote: