The 2016 legislative session in Concord is twelve weeks away, and already more than 600 legislative service requests have been filed by House lawmakers. (The Senate has yet to be heard from.) These LSRs will evolve into bills, to be added to the ones from earlier this year that are still under consideration, with hearings beginning in January.
The language of the bills has yet to be worked out, and the LSRs have very general titles. Topics thus far include but are not limited to:
- recognition that life begins at conception – and this one’s being proposed as a state constitutional amendment
- sale of fetal body parts – presumably a ban on such activity
- licensing of abortion facilities
- protection of infants born alive following attempted abortion
- human trafficking
- restrictions on mid- and late-term abortion
- restriction on eugenic abortion
- public funding of abortion procedures and providers
- expansion of the death penalty
Fetal homicide legislation will come up, as HB 560 is technically still in a Senate committee. Its prospects are grim, with the failure earlier this year of House and Senate conferees to agree on SB 40, another fetal homicide measure. A mandate to the state to collect abortion statistics may yet make its way out of committee, as HB 629 is still under study. (Another study session, open to the public, is scheduled for October 21 at 11 a.m. in room 205 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. More on that in a separate post.)
You can bookmark the General Court’s web site for updates on legislation and to get contact information for your representatives. As always, watch this blog for news.