N.H. Informed Consent Bill Hearing Scheduled for Jan. 17

HB 1707 will have a hearing before the New Hampshire House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee on January 17 at 11:00 a.m. in room 205 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. This Abortion Information Act requires a physician who performs an abortion, or the referring physician, to provide the pregnant woman with certain information at least 24 hours prior to the abortion, and to obtain her consent that she has received such information.

Among the information to which a woman would be entitled 24 hours in advance is to the name of the person performing the abortion or prescribing the drug for a chemical abortion. Not a face-to-face meeting, but a name.

A woman would be entitled to written information 24 hours in advance, which she need not read; all she’d sign for is confirmation that she received the written material. No reflection period would be imposed in case of medical emergency. Some of the information to which women would be entitled under HB 1707:

Medically-accurate information including a description of the proposed abortion method; known risks associated with the procedure or medication; known risks of carrying the pregnancy to term; and abortion alternatives.

Information on medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care.

Notification that the father of the child is liable to assist with child support; this information may be omitted if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

A reminder that she is free to withdraw consent to the abortion at any time.


Furthermore, no abortion provider could take payment until the end of the 24-hour reflection period.

The bill refers to “physicians” as the ones performing abortions, which will annoy the nurse practitioners for whom abortion is within scope of practice. So let someone on the committee propose an amendment to expand the provider list, if that’s a concern. Under current law, or lack thereof, there is no restriction on who may perform abortions; no medical training whatsoever is required. Maybe that’s OK with the bill’s opponents.

Sponsors: Reps. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack), Victoria Sullivan (R-Manchester), Kevin Verville (R-Deerfield), Kathleen Souza (R-Manchester)

To express your view: email the Committee (HHSEA@leg.state.nh.us) or attend the hearing (room 205 of the LOB, a block behind the State House). If you attend, options are to speak about the bill (fill out a pink card near the entrance to the hearing room), submit written testimony (either email it, or bring 20 hard copies to distribute to committee members), or simply sign in on the sheet that should be on the end of the committee table nearest the entrance to the hearing room.

After the initial hearing, the committee chairman might name a subcommittee to examine the bill further, or the committee could vote on the bill within a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.