The New Hampshire House today tabled HR 6, a resolution favoring Roe v. Wade. The tabling motion passed 239-111, despite a sharp appeal from the resolution’s prime sponsor. Rep. Candace Bouchard (D-Concord). Tabling does not kill the resolution but removes it from immediate consideration.
HR 6 states “the New Hampshire House of Representatives hereby recognizes the critical importance of continued access to safe and legal abortion.” Supporting clauses include a claim that “violence against health care providers and restrictions on access to abortion endanger the lives of women and families and have continued to erode access to abortion.”
Six Democrats and two Republicans co-sponsored the resolution: Reps. Constance Bouchard (D-Concord), Tara Sad (D-Walpole), Ronald Theberge (D-Berlin), Laurie Harding (D-Lebanon), Priscilla Lockwood (R-Canterbury), Janet Wall (D-Madbury), Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua), and David Kidder (R-New London).
What constitutes a restriction on access, as far as the sponsors are concerned? New Hampshire has no law undercutting a woman’s “right” to abortion. There is a parental notification statute, and there is a ban on a particular abortion method (partial-birth). Neither statute can block a woman’s access to abortion, with judicial bypass available to minors, and any abortion method available to a provider other than partial delivery and subsequent killing of the newborn child. Both laws were drafted to be consistent with other states’ legislation already found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. All eight of the sponsors of HR 6 opposed the partial-birth ban, and seven of the eight opposed parental notification (Rep. Sad had an excused absence from that vote).
I note as well that the sponsors’ defense of “safe” abortion does not extend to requiring public health officials to collect statistics on how many New Hampshire women experience abortion complications.
This is a House-only resolution. If it were to pass, no assent would be required by the Senate or by pro-abortion Gov. Maggie Hassan.