Edited to correct hearing time: 1 p.m., January 22, 2020.
You’ll soon have a chance to register your opinion on a measure that would create a right to abortion protected under the New Hampshire Constitution. The House Judiciary Committee will have a hearing at 1 p.m. on January 22 in room 208 of the Legislative Office Building on CACR 14.
The hearing has been scheduled for a room that has enough public seating for 20 people. In a pinch, if the committee in the adjacent room is not meeting, dividers can be folded back to double the size of the Judiciary room. In a real pinch, if the crowd size justifies it, the hearing can be moved to Representatives Hall.
I think a real pinch is in order.
What CACR 14 says
The text of the proposed constitutional amendment: “The right to make personal reproductive medical decisions is inviolate and fundamental to the human condition. Neither the State nor any political subdivision shall infringe upon or unduly inconvenience this right.”
If passed, this amendment would survive an overturned Roe decision. It would mean public funding of direct abortion under Medicaid and other tax-funded programs. It would mean an end to New Hampshire’s two hard-won regulations on abortion: parental notification and a ban on partial-birth abortion.
Don’t look to Governor Sununu – who identifies himself as pro-choice – to stop the measure. Constitutional amendments don’t go through the Governor’s office. If three-fifths of New Hampshire House members and three-fifths of the State Senators OK the measure, it will go on the general election ballot in November 2020. If two-thirds of the voters say yes, CACR 14 will be baked into the New Hampshire constitution.
What you can do
Show up. Get a carpool going. Announce the hearing to your life-affirming neighbors and the people at your church. Babysit for a parent who’d like to attend. Take your kids out of school for the day, and let me know if they get marked “unexcused.”
Testimony is optional. Be present. If you absolutely positively can’t make it, send your opinion of CACR 14 directly to the Judiciary Committee (email: HouseJudiciaryCommittee@leg.state.nh.us). Be brief, clear, and courteous – but don’t be silent.
The hearing will take place on the 47th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. That is not coincidental. Fortunately, the national March for Life is on the 24th this year. No one will have to choose between CACR 14 and a bus trip to Washington, DC.
Take a trip to Concord instead.