Interim study on assisted suicide bill yields committee recommendation

The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee voted 10-8 on September 1 to recommend that legislation addressing assisted suicide be considered in a future legislative session.

This is not the passage of any specific bill. It’s only a recommendation. This post is not a call to action, only a report. Here’s how we got here.

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There is a GOP primary for Governor in New Hampshire

New Hampshire voters will go to the polls on September 8 for a primary election. Republican Governor Chris Sununu has competition.

Karen Testerman is on the ballot

Karen Testerman is on the GOP primary ballot for Governor. You might or might not like her; you might think she’s well- or ill-equipped for the job; you might or might not agree with her that Sununu has botched the state’s COVID-19 response; you might think she’s a gadfly or a “protest” candidate. But she is on the GOP primary ballot, and she is campaigning like she means it.

From GraniteGrok: Was challenger Karen Testerman’s lawn sign deemed non-essential by the NHGOP or was it the Governor?

I interviewed Karen in 2013 as she contemplated a Senate run. Now, as then, she is a social conservative. That’s not what she led with when she launched her challenge to Governor Sununu: she challenged him over the social, business, and education fallout from the COVID-19 emergency orders he has issued. More recently she has made a point of broadening her message to reaffirm the positions for which she is well-known.

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Interim study meeting on assisted suicide bill

Update on HB 1659, introduced earlier this year in the New Hampshire House: this assisted suicide bill was sent to interim study. That’s the good news: it won’t become law in 2020.

Now for the other news: its originating committee can still recommend whether such legislation should be considered in the future. The House Judiciary Committee will have a public work session online on Tuesday, September 1, at 10:00 a.m. to consider that question.

While this is not a public hearing, it is a public meeting. Anyone is free to listen. Anyone wishing to send the committee comments, or re-send them, can email them to HouseJudiciaryCommittee@leg.state.nh.us.

How to access the work session

This information is from the House Calendar. The note at the end about an executive session simply means that the committee can vote on its recommendation at any time. Remember that this cannot be a vote to pass HB 1659, but rather to give future legislators a non-binding recommendation on whether a similar bill should be considered in the future.

Full committee work session on HB 1659-FN, relative to patient directed care and patient’s rights with regard to end-of-life decisions.
Committee members will receive secure Zoom invitations via email.
Members of the public may attend using the following links:

1. To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/94261411599
2. Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 1-312-626-6799, or 1-929-205-6099, or 1-253-215-8782, or 1-301-715-8592, or 1-346-248-7799, or 1-669-900-6833
3. Or iPhone one-tap: US: +13126266799, 95408968840# or +19292056099, 95408968840#
4. Webinar ID: 942 6141 1599
5. To view on YouTube, click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxqjz56akoWRL_5vyaQDtvQ 

The following email will be monitored throughout the meeting by someone who can assist with and alert the committee to any technical issues: hcs@leg.state.nh.us or call (603-271-3600). Pursuant to House Rule 43 (b), executive session may take place throughout the committee deliberations.

Previous coverage of HB 1659

Leaven for the Loaf has covered the assisted suicide bill since its introduction in early 2020.

Assisted suicide bill to get House hearing

Pushing back: testimonies against assisted suicide, part 1 and part 2

Life issue votes from March 12 (including House vote on HB 1659)

Featured image by Hasty Words/Pixabay.

Pro-life agencies need your help

Pro-life agencies offering services to pregnant and parenting women throughout New Hampshire are still in business, even as pandemic-suppression policies are forcing nonprofits to re-evaluate how they carry out their missions. Each center has its own needs. That means each center offers opportunities for service.

Finding a local agency

In a recent Leaven for the Loaf Facebook video, I asked staff and volunteers at New Hampshire pro-life pregnancy care agencies to share their needs. I knew already that agencies aren’t all alike. I learned that the COVID-suppression policies were having different impacts in different areas.

My wish to develop a one-stop list of volunteer opportunities quickly went poof. In the odd conditions under which we’ve all been living for the past few months, an agency’s needs can change suddenly.

Find out what’s in your own backyard. There’s a list on this blog of New Hampshire agencies that offer assistance to pregnant and parenting women and their partners, and do so without performing or referring for abortions.

Fundraising: finding new approaches

Imagine you’re the executive director of a nonprofit that provides human services. Your annual budget includes anticipated revenues from a banquet, a yard sale, and a collection from a local church. Those revenue sources have been reliable. Then comes COVID-19.

No banquets. Limited yard sales. Church routines turned upside-down.

That’s the reality for every executive director of a pro-life agency in New Hampshire. Each must find new ways to serve clients, while being innovative in fundraising.

If you’re in a position to help financially, now is a good time to do so. Find out which agencies have missions close to your heart. There will never be a better time to offer your support. This is a time for generosity informed by creativity.

A sample of current needs

Perhaps you have a calling to assist with housing or employment counseling. Maybe you’d be perfect for leading a parenting class. Maybe you have creative fundraising ideas, or a gift for crisis counseling, or the administrative skills to help re-open an office. Call your nearest agency and find out what clients need at the moment. You might find a Wish List on an agency’s website.

The information below is a sampling of the needs of some New Hampshire pro-life ministries.

Birthright of Manchester has just re-opened its office after a months-long closure due to community-wide COVID precautions. Their main annual fundraiser is a Mother’s Day flower sale, which could not be held this year. Donations to make up for that lost flower sale are most welcome.

St. Gianna’s Place provides housing for pregnant and parenting women. Even your spare change can help! Check out the Baby Bottle Campaign, which has gone virtual. The annual spring banquet has been rescheduled to October, subject to change as circumstances require. There’s a St. Gianna’s Wish List you can help fulfill.

Pennacook Pregnancy Center‘s Facebook page is frequently updated not only with needs (diapers and wipes, and don’t forget toddler sizes), but with offers of specific equipment available for families.

Real Options: watch the Facebook pages for the Nashua and Manchester offices for information on services and needs. Inquiries via Facebook appear to be answered promptly, or you can call (603) 883-1122 (Nashua) or (603) 623-1122 (Manchester).

Service is always in style. To everyone who helps pro-life direct-service ministries thrive, thank you.

Post-veto, a clarifying moment on Twitter

Yes, Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the odious abortion insurance mandate. I’ve thanked him. I hope readers will do likewise.

Nothing in the veto changes his attitude toward abortion. The veto indicated respect for those who disagree with him, just as it indicated concern that the mandate would have cost the state money. That’s as far as it goes.

Three people came together in a Twitter exchange a few hours after the veto to clear this up for pro-life voters.

First, this from Sen. Dan Feltes (D-Concord), who hopes to get the Democratic nomination for Governor this fall. He pitched his customary reproductive-rights spiel.

Mere minutes later came this reply from a gentleman working for the Governor’s re-election, formerly on the Governor’s staff. He helpfully pointed out that Planned Parenthood has not suffered under the Governor’s leadership, despite the fact that he has disappointed them twice in five years (more about that here, under “an interesting anniversary”).

A state representative summed it up well in her reply to Mr. Vihstadt. She does not trash the Governor, nor has she ever done so in my hearing. She is a thoughtful individual. But she does have a habit of calling things as she sees ’em.

Ouch. But yes.

Gratitude for the veto is a good thing. It’s downright essential, in my book. Acknowledgment of the conscience rights of Granite Staters is always refreshing to see.

Maybe that’ll extend to keeping tax dollars away from abortion providers someday.

Perhaps that’s a conversation to be had on the campaign trail.