Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control know about abortion in NH

How many abortions were done on New Hampshire last year? Here’s what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported in its last report on abortion nationwide. “State did not report; because numbers for this state are available only from other states where residents obtained abortions, meaningful figures cannot be reported.”

Number of women; age of the women (and girls); point in pregnancy at which abortion was performed; adverse outcomes for women (not counting aborted females); number of previous abortions; method of abortion: apparently, none of this is on the radar of any public health agency in New Hampshire, or else the CDC would be getting the information.

So if abortion is really part of health care, as its defenders would have me believe, why don’t New Hampshire’s public health officials know more about it?

Congressman seeks national inquiry into abortion facilities; Concord should act 1st

Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has a post in the Red State blog today about his request that states provide information about Gosnell-like crimes. See post here: We must ensure this never happens again | RedState.

Hooray for Congressman Goodlatte, who holds the exalted position of chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. But why should it take an inquiry from Washington for New Hampshire women to find out what they’re letting themselves in for when they go to an abortion provider?

New Hampshire does not require collection of abortion statistics. Everything is “voluntary.” There is no attempt at all to collect information on post-abortion complications for women. Keeping track of born-alive babies? Nope. All the state will be able to report to Congressman Goodlatte is what public health authorities know, which is nothin’.

Instead of looking to the Beltway for enlightenment about what happens in New Hampshire, let’s look to Concord.

Must-read column by David Freddoso: “A Tale of Two Massacres”

Please read and share this column by David Freddoso. When you’re done, review this news story from Florida about a Planned Parenthood employee saying that infanticide – specifically, killing a child who survives a abortion – should be a matter between a woman and her doctor. (Planned Parenthood has since issued a “clarification,” saying that “appropriate care” should be given.)

Planned Parenthood defining appropriate care: there’s food for thought. But I digress.

I am indebted to Freddoso of the Washington Examiner for his insightful column published yesterday. He succinctly summarizes the ghastly murder charges against abortionist Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. He compares those murders at the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Then he gets to a question I would like to pose to every New Hampshire legislator who has opposed increased regulation of New Hampshire abortion facilities:

“Many have asked what kind of law they could pass to prevent the next Newtown. Few are writing about how to prevent the next Kermit Gosnell. Given the frequent claim that abortion is safer for being legal, and the eagerness of the abortion rights lobby to distance itself from Gosnell, why such incredible and inflexible resistance to basic safety regulations?”

We’ve seen resistance in New Hampshire to even the slightest increased oversight of abortion facilities. We’ve seen resistance to identifying who is performing the procedures. Yet whenever there is a relevant hearing in Concord, women with soothing voices and moving anecdotes and paychecks from abortion providers assure legislators that more regulation is unnecessary.

Is there a Gosnell in New Hampshire? I hope not. I’ll venture a guess that the spokeswomen for abortion facilities hope not. We’re taking an awful lot on faith, though, especially when New Hampshire does not mandate abortion reporting. Late-term abortions? No one knows how many, or where they are done, or by whom, or how women fare afterwards, or what happens to children who survive abortions. In New Hampshire, is a woman seeking abortion entitled to a termination of pregnancy or to a dead baby?  Gosnell forces me to consider the difference.

We shudder and then become outraged, rightly so, when six-year-olds are murdered at school. We have Congressional hearings and increased activity in legislatures nationwide about preventing more such atrocities. Where’s the similar outrage over Gosnell? Where are the hearings about preventing deaths like the ones of the infants whose bodies were found at his “clinic”? Will the woman whose death has been laid at his door become the face of abortion regulation efforts?

When I hear it can’t happen here in New Hampshire, I fear the real message is I don’t want to know. Get over it. Mandatory reporting is overdue.


Week In Review: NH Senate Bats .400

I understand the importance of gratitude as much as the next person. As a lobbyist, I forget it at my peril. So thank you, senators. And now permit me to quibble.

The New Hampshire Senate passed two bills that are years overdue: a ban on partial-birth abortions (HB 1679) and a bill to examine the possibility of collecting abortion statistics (HB 1680). Great news, momentous victories – and you probably have to have been around Concord as long as I have to appreciate just how momentous. Persistence pays off. Three other bills with pro-life implications met worse fates: killed, tabled, interim study. 

When I’m up in the gallery cheering for five bills and two of them pass, it’s a good day, even though one newspaper headline said pro-lifers were “crushed.” Crushed? Not so much. I will, however, admit that my happiness was alloyed with a strong dose of the annoyance only an ex-Republican can understand.

The five Democratic senators were solidly opposed to four of these bills. (The stats bill passed on a voice vote.) The Republicans, as usual with pro-life bills, were all over the place. The one bill that earned unanimous Republican support was the partial-birth ban. When the day’s session was over, the minority leader, Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, made a short speech on the Senate floor, paying tribute to majority leader Sen. Jeb Bradley for the way Bradley had handled the difficult votes (meaning the pro-life bills). D’Allesandro is a gentleman, and I have no doubt he was speaking from the heart.

But wait a minute here. Why was it such a big deal that a Republican majority leader got all of his caucus to support a bill to ban an abortion method that shades into infanticide? What is so controversial about that? Who had to be persuaded? (And why does the Democratic party defend partial-birth abortion?)

We can actually make fair guesses of who had to be persuaded by looking at bills that fell short. HB 228, to keep state money away from abortion providers, was tabled 17-6 (Sen. DeBlois was absent); HB 1660, to stop abortions after 20 weeks, went sent to interim study 15-8; HB 1659, Women’s Right to Know/informed consent/24-hour wait before abortion was ITL’d (killed) 12-11.

Exactly FIVE senators supported all these bills: Jim Forsythe, Fenton Groen,  Ray White,  Gary Lambert, and Jack Barnes, It pains me to know that Forsythe & White have decided not to run for re-election.

On the other hand, six GOP senators voted against everything except the partial-birth ban: John Gallus, Jeb Bradley (yes, the majority leader), Bob Odell, Dave Boutin, Jim Rausch, and Nancy Stiles. Call them the hard-line six. Gallus has announced his retirement. The others are likely to seek reelection.

That leaves seven GOP senators whose votes were scattered.

  • There’s no doubt that HB 228 was tabled in response to the threat of a loss of Medicaid funds to the state if the bill should pass. I hate seeing that kind of timidity in any elected official, and I’m pleased that Sens. Forsythe, Groen, Andy Sanborn, White, Gary Lambert, & Jack Barnes voted against being bullied.
  • The rejection of the informed consent bill should raise the ire of every pro-life voter who has ever written a check to the GOP. Andy Sanborn told me that he had a hard time with this one, but he concluded that the 24-hour wait was too great an intrusion by government into a woman’s rights. He joined the “hard-line six” and the Democrats to make the twelfth and deciding vote. The 11 senators who got this one right: Jeanie Forrester, Forsythe, Groen, White, Peter Bragdon, Jim Luther, Lambert, Sharon Carson, Barnes, Chuck Morse, Russell Prescott.
  • A senator told me privately a week before the session that the post-20-week ban would probably not pass. “It’s that or partial-birth. We can’t get both.” Eight GOP senators did the right thing by opposing the motion to send the bill to interim study: Forsythe, Groen, White, Bragdon, Luther, Lambert, Barnes, Morse.  

This confirms what I already knew about writing checks to the GOP. Don’t do it, since the money will go to the likes of the hard-line six. Individual candidates would be happy to hear from pro-life donors.

Postscript: Shortly after the Senate rejected HB 1659, the House attached it as an amendment to one of the bills it is considering. I won’t venture a guess as to HB 1659’s final outcome. There’s a bit of a struggle going on between House & Senate that goes way beyond the pro-life bills. I only hope that the partial-birth bill, which must go to the House for agreement with an amendment, won’t fall victim to the tension.