Just when I think I’m beyond surprise, this happens.
A reader of this blog who was taken aback at my post about New Hampshire’s lack of abortion regulation decided to write an op-ed column on the topic for her local newspaper. That’s usually a routine process for her. She’s active in her community, and she knows the editor. This time, the editor got back to her and asked for documentation.
In particular, he sought documentation of this fact: New Hampshire allows abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. “Do you have the RSA so I can link the law? There should be a state law that allows…late term abortions.”
That question came from a professional journalist working in New Hampshire.
I checked his profile on LinkedIn. He has worked in this area for many years. He was around when Jeanne Shaheen signed repeal of New Hampshire’s abortion laws. He was in college when Roe v. Wade was handed down. He is a prizewinning editor. He’s a pro.
And he has no idea that late-term abortions are the default setting in the United States. Unless a state has a law placing a time limit on abortion, there is no limit. He also apparently doesn’t know that New Hampshire legislators have repeatedly refused to impose a limit, most recently last year.
The op-ed writer can’t show a New Hampshire law “allowing” late-term abortions because there isn’t one. None is needed in order for unlimited abortion to be legal. Roe v. Wade permits states to assert an interest in protecting the preborn child at the point of viability, but it does not require states to do so.
New Hampshire lawmakers have chosen not to assert that interest.
Whether the reader’s op-ed makes it into print is between her and the editor. I hope it gets published. The editor’s initial reluctance to move ahead with it isn’t a matter of pro-abortion bias.
He honestly can’t believe our state’s situation – not yet, anyway. New Hampshire law allows abortion throughout pregnancy, because New Hampshire law imposes no time limit.
If you think that goes without saying, think again.
Update: within a few days of the initial submission of the op-ed, the editor chose to print it.