You’ll Be Paying for Abortion, If Proposed State Budget Passes

New Hampshire House and Senate conferees trying to agree on a state budget have agreed on one thing: everyone who pays taxes in New Hampshire will be funding unrestricted abortion if this budget passes.

The conference committee has OK’d the removal of budget language which in past budgets has limited the use of state funds for abortion.

The N.H. Senate voted to repeal language limiting abortion funding, and a House-Senate conference committee has endorsed that move.

House and Senate will vote on a state budget proposal June 27. The Governor will then decide whether to sign or veto the budget. A veto would likely lead to a legislative continuing resolution, basically a state-spending holding pattern, until agreement is reached on a new budget.

Governor Sununu has expressed in every way available to him that he will veto the budget as it currently stands, due to new taxes and excessive spending. He has not mentioned abortion funding as a reason for a possible veto.

Abortion funding is not a bargaining chip. It’s a dealbreaker. Perhaps no one has told him so yet. His office number is (603) 271-2121. The budget isn’t on his desk yet, but it’s coming.

House and Senate members need to get the same message before June 27.

Hyde amendment language

The language at risk of repeal in New Hampshire is based on the federal Hyde Amendment, which has been added to every federal Department of Health and Human Services budget since 1976. This funding limitation has prevented the use of federal DHHS funds for abortion, with exceptions for pregnancies from rape and incest.

Essentially, that has been the New Hampshire policy. Children conceived in violence can be aborted at public expense, but New Hampshire taxpayers have not yet been ordered to pay for abortions in other circumstances.

Abortion advocates have worked diligently for years at state and federal levels to undermine Hyde Amendment language, saying that it restricts health care access for poor women.

Anyone opposing restrictions on public funding for abortion is therefore adopting the fiction that abortion is health care. That goes for anyone who votes for a budget containing abortion funding, even if it’s a “compromise” budget.

sununu’s past funding decisions

As Executive Councilor, Chris Sununu voted in 2011 and 2016 to give family planning contracts to abortion providers including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the Equality Center in Concord, and the Lovering Center in Greenland. Calling himself pro-choice, he drew a distinction: no to compelling taxpayers to fund abortion directly; yes to funding abortion providers for non-abortion work.

In August 2015, Sununu voted against a state contract with PPNNE, expressing concerns over revelations of some PP affiliates’ commerce in body parts from aborted fetuses. Ten months later, in an unprecented do-over on the same contracts, he flipped, saying that PP was no longer under investigation.

Elections have consequences?

There is no elected New Hampshire Democrat on the state level who supports restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion.

Then again, there is no elected New Hampshire Republican on the state level who has announced that she or he will vote against the proposed budget for the reason that public funding for abortion is inconsistent with respect for human life, authentic health care, and conscience rights.

Hyde saves lives

Looking at the federal Hyde Amendment, Secular Pro-Life celebrated the amendment’s 40th anniversary in 2012. Its #HelloHyde campaign highlighted the people who were born, not aborted, when their mothers were covered by Medicaid.

The Hyde Amendment’s life-saving impact is hard to overstate. Both supporters and opponents agree that the Hyde Amendment has prevented over a million abortions. The disagreement, sad to say, is over whether that’s a good thing.

http://www.hellohyde.org/1-in-9/

more funding = more abortion

In April of this year, Michael J. New, Ph.D. of the Charlotte Lozier Institute wrote about Maine’s move to fund abortion with state dollars. He observed something that holds true anywhere public money is used for abortion.

There is a considerable amount of debate among scholars about various aspects of abortion policy. However, when it comes to the issue of taxpayer subsidies, there is a very broad consensus among both pro-life and pro-choice researchers that funding abortion through Medicaid significantly increases abortion rates. In 2009, the Guttmacher Institute–which was Planned Parenthood’s research arm until 2007–published a literature review on the research about public funding of abortion. They found that 19 of 22 studies found taxpayer funding of abortion increases the incidence of abortion.

https://lozierinstitute.org/hundreds-of-innocent-lives-depend-on-the-maine-state-legislature/

Update: Again, N.H. House says No to abortion statistics

The naysayers are still saying Nay. Given an opportunity to include abortion statistics in a bill regarding collection of health care data, the New Hampshire House ran in the other direction this week. The underlying bill, SB 111, came up for a hearing last month, when an employee of the executive department requesting the bill visibly blanched when a committee member proposed an amendment: adding abortion statistics to the mix.

The executive department requesting the bill was the Department of Health and Human Services. I can only imagine the Commissioner’s reaction to the SB 111 public hearing.

Have no fear, Mr. Commissioner. SB 111 was passed by the House this week without any pesky amendments.

Left unaddressed is the question of why so many representatives who think abortion is health care don’t want to include it in a health care data collection program. But I digress.

There was a roll call on the abortion-statistics amendment. The amendment failed, 135-211. Here’s the link to the roll call, with a “Nay” vote being a vote against the collection of abortion statistics. The heading on that roll call page says “SB 111 Roll Call,” but it’s a vote on the amendment, not the underlying bill.

The underlying bill passed on a voice vote, free of amendments.

I respect and thank the representatives who co-sponsored the amendment: Reps. Walt Stapleton (Sullivan County district 5), William Marsh (Carroll 8), Mark Pearson (Rockingham 34), Charles McMahon (Rockingham 7), Joseph Guthrie (Rockingham 13), Dennis Acton (Rockingham 10), Edward DeClercq (Rockingham 8), and John Fothergill (Coos 1). In addition, Rep. Bill Nelson (Carroll 5) gave an eloquent speech on the floor of the House to introduce the amendment.

New Abortion Stats Dispute Comes Up in Committee

“It’s hard for me to separate statistics from a movement to make abortion more restricted.”

Let those words roll around in your head for a moment. We’ll get back to them.

No, I’m not digging up my notes from HB 158, the abortion statistics bill killed by the New Hampshire House a few months ago. The quote that opens this post is from a hearing on another bill altogether, SB 111, on healthcare data. Having passed the state senate, SB 111 is now in the hands of the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs (HHS) Committee.

SB 111 was meant to be a housekeeping measure, revising and updating procedures for collection of various health-related data. Take a look at the fascinating NH Health WISDOM web site to get a sense of the kind of information the state tracks. SB 111 was introduced at the request of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

Independently, it occurred to several people that with health care data up for discussion, DHHS’s lack of abortion data was a missing piece. Four representatives – Walter Stapleton (R-Claremont), Bill Nelson (R-Brookfield), William Marsh (R-Wolfeboro), and Mark Pearson (R-Hampstead – drafted an amendment to SB 111 for the HHS committee to consider, basically adding abortion to the data covered by the bill.

That is not what DHHS had in mind. Thanks to my day job, I was present when the amendment was introduced at a subcommittee work session. I think “dismay” is the best word for the look on the faces of the DHHS staff present when they heard it.

Some of the state reps weren’t thrilled, either.

To make a long story short, the subcommittee declined to accept the amendment, and instead recommended that the bill as introduced be forwarded to the full HHS committee for a vote on May 7. When that day came, Rep. Stapleton politely brought up his proposed amendment (slightly tweaked and re-numbered since the subcommittee session). After a half hour of discussion, committee chair Rep. Lucy Weber (D-Walpole) decided to put off the vote on SB 111 and any amendments until the week of May 13.

That’s where it stands. I can say with confidence that the underlying bill is not in dispute. Any proposed amendment involving abortion statistics is another story. There are procedural objections to an amendment, but the substance is where one finds the real rub.

During the May 7 committee discussion, Rep. Joe Schapiro (D-Keene) took note in the calmest of tones of what he called efforts around the country to restrict abortion. (Maybe if someone were to tell him about New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts, he’d feel better.) Then came his summation about the amendment: “It’s hard for me to separate statistics from a movement to make abortion more restricted.”

His colleague, Rep. Susan Ticehurst, was noticeably agitated as she registered her opinion about the controversial amendment. “I’m not going to sit here and pretend we’re talking about data.”

Actually, we are. Abortion and data collection are not mutually exclusive. Data collection and privacy protection are not mutually exclusive, either, as SB 111 underscores: it covers many kinds of data the state has collected for years while protecting patient privacy.

Insistence on suppressing data collection regarding one condition suggests fear of what the data will show.

One rep stated that DHHS already collects abortion statistics, but I’m skeptical about that. I’m not aware of any mandatory reporting rule that has gone into effect at the freestanding facilities where most of New Hampshire’s abortions take place. (No one is seriously asserting that hospital records would tell the whole story.) Given the intense opposition from abortion-friendly reps to any suggestion that abortions be counted, I don’t believe New Hampshire makes a serious attempt at present to find out how many induced terminations of pregnancy are happening statewide.

DHHS officials needn’t lose sleep. I expect passage of SB 111, with no provision for abortion statistics. Still, I’m glad that a few representatives are willing to point out the missing piece .

House Rejects Abortion Statistics, 2019 Edition

The New Hampshire House has rejected HB 158, an abortion statistics bill. The motion was “inexpedient to legislate” and the vote was 218-144.

Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the vote, by county. Absences are listed separately. Link to the official roll call as posted on the General Court web site is here. A “yea” vote was a vote AGAINST abortion statistics, i.e. supporting the “inexpedient to legislate” motion.

A link to each representative’s contact information is available on the General Court web site.

Voting AGAINST abortion statistics (in favor of the “inexpedient to legislate” motion)

Belknap County: David Huot (D-Laconia).

Carroll County: Anita Burroughs (D-Glen), Ed Butler (D-Hart’s Location), Edith DesMarais (D-Wolfeboro), Harrison Kanzler (D-North Conway), Jerry Knirk (D-Freedom), Susan Ticehurst (D-Tamworth), Stephen Woodcock (D-Center Conway).

Cheshire County: Michael Abbott (D-Hinsdale), Richard Ames (D-Jaffrey), Paul Berch (D-Westmoreland), John Bordenet (D-Keene), Daniel Eaton (D-Stoddard), Barry Faulkner (D-Swanzey), Donovan Fenton (D-Keene), Jennie Gomarlo (D-Swanzey), Douglas Ley (D-Jaffrey), John Mann (D-Alstead), David Meader (D-Keene), David Morrill (D-Keene), Henry Parkhurst (D-Winchester), William Pearson (D-Keene), Joe Schapiro (D-Keene), Bruce Tatro (D-Swanzey), Craig Thompson (D-Harrisville), Sparky Von Plinsky (D-Keene), Lucy Weber (D-Walpole).

Coos County: William Hatch (D-Gorham), Larry Laflamme (D-Berlin), Wayne Moynihan (D-Dummer), Henry Noel (D-Berlin), Yvonne Thomas (D-Berlin), Edith Tucker (D-Randolph)

Grafton County: Richard Abel (D-West Lebanon), Joshua Adjutant (D-Ashland), Susan Almy (D-Lebanon), Polly Campion (D-Etna), Francesca Diggs (D-Rumney), Timothy Egan (D-Sugar Hill), Sallie Fellows (D-Holderness), Susan Ford (D-Easton), Elaine French (D-Littleton), Edward “Ned” Gordon (R-Bristol), Erin Hennessey (R-Littleton), Timothy Josephson (D-Canaan), Kevin Maes (D-Rumney), Linda Massimilla (D-Littleton), Mary Jane Mulligan (D-Hanover), Garrett Muscatel (D-Hanover), Richard Osborne (D-Campton), Suzanne Smith (D-Hebron), Laurel Stavis (D-West Lebanon), Jerry Stringham (D-Lincoln), George Sykes (D-Lebanon), Joyce Weston (D-Plymouth).

Hillsborough County (listed in multiple paragraphs for easier reading): Robert Backus (D-Manchester), Chris Balch (D-Wilton), Benjamin Baroody (D-Manchester), Jane Beaulieu (D-Manchester), Paul Bergeron (D-Nashua), Jennifer Bernet (D-Wilton), William Bordy (D-Nashua), James Bosman (D-Francestown), Donald Bouchard (D-Manchester), Amanda Bouldin (D-Manchester), Jacqueline Chretien (D-Manchester), Skip Cleaver (D-Nashua), Bruce Cohen (D-Nashua), Erika Connors (D-Manchester), Patricia Cornell (D-Manchester), David Cote (D-Nashua).

Also: David Danielson (R-Bedford), Paul Dargie (D-Milford), Fred Davis (D-Nashua), Kathy Desjardin (D-Manchester), Linda DiSilvestro (D-Manchester), Sherry Dutzy (D-Nashua), Manny Espitia (D-Nashua), Mary Freitas (D-Manchester), Jeffrey Goley (D-Manchester), John Graham (R-Bedford), Willis Griffith (D-Manchester), Brett Hall (D-Brookline), Linda Harriott-Gathright (D-Nashua), Mary Heath (D-Manchester), Christopher Herbert (D-Manchester), Greg Indruk (D-Nashua), Martin Jack (D-Nashua), Jean Jeudy (D-Manchester), Mark King (D-Nashua), Patricia Klee (D-Nashua), Nicole Klein-Knight (D-Manchester).

Also: Diane Langley (D-Manchester), Peter Leishman (D-Peterborough), Patrick Long (D-Manchester), Latha Mangipudi (D-Nashua), Joelle Martin (D-Milford), Kat McGhee (D-Hollis), Donna Mombourquette (D-New Boston), Sue Mullen (D-Bedford), Nancy Murphy (D-Merrimack), Ray Newman (D-Nashua), Sue Newman (D-Nashua), Frances Nutter-Upham (D-Nashua), Alison Nutting-Wong (D-Nashua), Michael O’Brien (D-Nashua), Russell Ober (R-Hudson), Michael Pederson (D-Nashua), Peter Petrigno (D-Milford), Daniel Pickering (D-Hancock), Israel Piedra (D-Manchester), Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsboro), Mark Proulx (R-Manchester), Andrew Prout (R-Hudson).

Also: Joshua Query (D-Manchester), Julie Radhakrishnan (D-Amherst), Cole Riel (D-Goffstown), Rosemarie Rung (D-Merrimack), Janice Schmidt (D-Nashua), Barbara Shaw (D-Manchester), Timothy Smith (D-Manchester), Kendall Snow (D-Manchester), Catherine Sofikitis (D-Nashua), Michelle St. John (D-Hollis), Kathryn Stack (D-Merrimack), Deb Stevens (D-Nashua), Laura Telerski (D-Nashua), Wendy Thomas (D-Merrimack), Dan Toomey (D-Nashua), Suzanne Vail (D-Nashua), Constance Van Houten (D-Manchester), Ivy Vann (D-Peterborough), Matt Wilhelm (D-Manchester), Kermit Williams (D-Wilton), David Woodbury (D-New Boston).

Merrimack County: Christy Bartlett (D-Concord), Ryan Buchanan (D-Concord), Clyde Carson (D-Warner), Karen Ebel (D-New London), Samantha Fox (D-Bow), Joyce Fulweiler (D-Northfield), David Karrick (D-Warner), Connie Lane (D-Concord), David Luneau (D-Hopkinton), James MacKay (D-Concord), Howard Moffett (D-Canterbury), Beth Richards (D-Concord), Beth Rodd (D-Bradford), Katherine Rogers (D-Concord), George Saunderson (D-Loudon), Thomas Schamberg (D-Wilmot), Dianne Schuett (D-Pembroke), Kristina Schultz (D-Concord), Timothy Soucy (D-Concord), Alan Turcotte (D-Allenstown), Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord), Mary Beth Walz (D-Bow), Safiya Wazir (D-Concord), Kenneth Wells (D-Andover), Dan Wolf (R-Newbury), Gary Woods (D-Bow).

Rockingham County: Debra Altschiller (D-Stratham), Lisa Bunker (D-Exeter), Patricia Bushway (D-Hampton), Michael Cahill (D-Newmarket), Jacqueline Cali-Pitts (D-Portsmouth), David Coursin (D-Northwood), Renny Cushing (D-Hampton), Charlotte DiLorenzo (D-Newmarket), Michael Edgar (D-Hampton), Mary Eisner (D-Derry), Julie Gilman (D-Exeter), Gaby Grossman (D-Exeter), Jaci Grote (D-Rye), Tamara Le (D-North Hampton), Tom Loughman (D-Hampton), Patricia Lovejoy (D-Stratham), Dennis Malloy (D-Greenland), Rebecca McBeath (D-Portsmouth), Liz McConnell (D-Brentwood), Betsy McKinney (R-Londonderry), David Meuse (D-Portsmouth), Kate Murray (D-New Castle), Ellen Read (D-Newmarket), Peter Somssich (D-Portsmouth), Mark Vallone (D-Epping), Gerald Ward (D-Portsmouth), Josh Yokela (R-Fremont).

Strafford County: Peter Bixby (D-Dover), Gerri Cannon (D-Somersworth), Wendy Chase (D-Rollinsford), Casey Conley (D-Dover), Donna Ellis (D-Rochester), Kristina Fargo (D-Dover), Timothy Fontneau (D-Rochester), Amanda Gourgue (D-Lee), Chuck Grassie (D-Rochester), Timothy Horrigan (D-Durham), Sandra Keans (D-Rochester), Cam Kenney (D-Durham), Cassandra Levesque (D-Barrington), Linn Opderbecke (D-Dover), Cecilia Rich (D-Somersworth), Jeffrey Salloway (D-Lee), Catt Sandler (D-Somersworth), Peter Schmidt (D-Dover), Marjorie Smith (D-Durham), Judith Spang (D-Durham), Matthew Towne (D-Barrington), Susan Treleaven (D-Dover), Kenneth Vincent (D-Somersworth), Janet Wall (D-Madbury).

Sullivan County: John Cloutier (D-Claremont), Gary Merchant (D-Claremont), Andrew O’Hearne (D-Claremont), Lee Oxenham (D-Plainfield), Brian Sullivan (D-Grantham), Linda Tanner (D-Georges Mills).

Voting FOR abortion statistics (against the “inexpedient to legislate” motion)

Belknap County: Glen Aldrich (R-Gilford), Harry Bean (R-Gilford), Barbara Comtois (R-Center Barnstead), George Feeney (R-Alton), Dennis Fields (R-Sanbornton), Raymond Howard (R-Alton), Deanna Jurius (R-Meredith), Timothy Lang (R-Sanbornton), Jonathan Mackie (R-Meredith), John Plumer (R-Belmont), Peter Spanos (R-Winnisquam), Michael Sylvia (R-Belmont), Franklin Tilton (R-Laconia).

Carroll County: Lino Avellani (R-Sanbornville), Ed Comeau (R-Brookfield), Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro), John MacDonald (R-Wolfeboro Falls), William Marsh (R-Wolfeboro), Bill Nelson (R-Brookfield).

Cheshire County: John Hunt (R-Rindge), John O’Day (R-Rindge).

Coos County: Kevin Craig (R-Lancaster), John Fothergill (R-Colebrook), Michael Furbush (R-Colebrook), Troy Merner (R-Lancaster).

Grafton County: Rick Ladd (R-Haverhill), Vincent Paul Migliore (R-Bridgewater).

Hillsborough County (listed in two paragraphs for easier reading): Joe Alexander (R-Goffstown), Richard Barry (R-Merrimack), James Belanger (R-Hollis), Ralph Boehm (R-Litchfield), Charles Burns (R-Milford), John Burt (R-Goffstown), Linda Camarota (R-Bedford), Keith Erf (R-Weare), Jim Fedolfi (R-Hillsboro), Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline), Larry Gagne (R-Manchester), Linda Gould (R-Bedford), Bob Greene (R-Hudson), Barbara Griffin (R-Goffstown), Michael Gunski (R-Goffstown).

Also: Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack), Gary Hopper (R-Weare), Bob L’Heureux (R-Merrimack), Richard Lascelles (R-Litchfield), Alicia Lekas (R-Hudson), Tony Lekas (R-Hudson), JP Marzullo (R-Deering), Mark McLean (R-Manchester), Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack), Hershel Nunez (R-Pelham), Lynne Ober (R-Hudson), Reed Panasiti (R-Amherst), Fred Plett (R-Goffstown), Andrew Renzullo (R-Hudson), Kimberly Rice (R-Hudson), Paul Somero (R-New Ipswich), Michael Trento (R-Bedford), Jordan Ulery (R-Hudson), Mark Warden (R-Manchester), James Whittemore (R-Hudson).

Merrimack County: James Allard (R-Pittsfield), Gregory Hill (R-Northfield), Werner Horn (R-Franklin), Frank Kotowski (R-Hooksett), Richard Marple (R-Hooksett), Carol McGuire (R-Epsom), Howard Pearl (R-Loudon), Brian Seaworth (R-Pembroke), Dave Testerman (R-Franklin), Thomas Walsh (R-Hooksett), Michael Yakubovich (R-Hooksett).

Rockingham County (listed in two paragraphs for easier reading): Daryl Abbas (R-Salem), Patrick Abrami (R-Stratham), Max Abramson (R-Seabrook), Dennis Acton (R-Fremont), Al Baldasaro (R-Londonderry), Arthur Barnes (R-Salem), Alan Bershtein (R-Nottingham), Brian Chirichiello (R-Derry), Michael Costable (R-Raymond), Dan Davis (R-Kensington), Joel Desilets (R-Windham), Debra DeSimone (R-Atkinson), Tom Dolan (R-Londonderry), Fred Doucette (R-Salem), Jess Edwards (R-Auburn), Robert Elliott (R-Salem), Betty Gay (R-Salem), Dennis Green (R-Hampstead), Mary Griffin (R-Windham), Joseph Guthrie (R-Hampstead), Robert Harb (R-Plaistow), Deborah Hobson (R-East Kingston), Kathleen Hoelzel (R-Raymond), John Janigian (R-Salem), Jason Janvrin (R-Seabrook).

Also: Phyllis Katsakiores (R-Derry), Aboul Khan (R-Seabrook), David Love (R-Derry), David Lundgren (R-Londonderry), Jim Maggiore (D-North Hampton), Everett McBride (R-Salem), Charles McMahon (R-Windham), Charles Melvin (R-Newton), David Milz (R-Derry), Sean Morrison (R-Epping), John O’Connor (R-Derry), Jason Osborne (R-Auburn), Becky Owens (R-Chester), Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry), Mark Pearson (R-Hampstead), Stephen Pearson (R-Derry), Tony Piemonte (R-Sandown), John Potucek (R-Derry), Kevin Pratt (R-Raymond), Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien (R-Derry), Terry Roy (R-Deerfield), James Spillane (R-Deerfield), John Sytek (R-Salem), Douglas Thomas (R-Londonderry), Peter Torosian (R-Atkinson), Chris True (R-Sandown), Kevin Verville (R-Deerfield), Scott Wallace (R-Danville), David Welch (R-Kingston), Kenneth Weyler (R-Kingston).

Strafford County: Steven Beaudoin (R-Rochester), Michael Harrington (R-Strafford), Peter Hayward (R-Milton), James Horgan (R-Farmington), Mac Kittredge (R-Rochester), Jody McNally (R-Rochester), Mona Perreault (R-Rochester), Abigail Rooney (R-Milton), Kurt Wuelper (R-Strafford).

Sullivan County: Judy Aron (R-South Acworth), John Callum (R-Unity), Thomas Laware (R-Charlestown), Gates Lucas (R-Sunapee), Skip Rollins (R-Newport), Steven Smith (R-Charlestown), Walter Stapleton (R-Claremont)

Absences and “Not Voting”

Excused absences for the day: Skip Berrien (D-Exeter), David Doherty (D-Pembroke), Roger Dontonville (D-Enfield), Arthur Ellison (D-Concord), William Fowler (R-Seabrook), Cathryn Harvey (D-Spofford), Peg Higgins (D-Rochester), John Klose (R-Epsom), Rebecca McWilliams (D-Concord), Timothy Merlino (R-New Ipswich), Megan Murray (D-Amherst), Mel Myler (D-Contoocook), Sharon Nordgren (D-Hanover), Roderick Pimental (D-Henniker), Dennis Ruprecht (D-Landaff), Laurie Sanborn (R-Bedford), Thomas Southworth (D-Dover), Charlie St. Clair (D-Laconia), Sandy Swinburne (D-Marlborough), Peter Varney (R-Alton), Harry Viens (R-Center Harbor), Anne Warner (D-Londonderry), James Webb (R-Derry).

“Not Voting,” no reason given: Richard Beaudoin (R-Laconia), Andrew Bouldin (D-Manchester), Thomas Buco (D-Conway), Karel Crawford (R-Center Harbor), Edward DeClercq (R-Salem), Robert Forsythe (R-Boscawen), Sherry Frost (D-Dover), Kenneth Gidge (D-Nashua), Heidi Hamer (D-Manchester), Walter Kolodziej (R-Windham), Richard Komi (D-Manchester), Norman Major (R-Plaistow), Laura Pantelakos (D-Portsmouth), Joseph Pitre (R-Farmington).

Speaker of the House Stephen Shurtleff was presiding and therefore did not cast a vote.

A Bipartisan Vote

While the vote was largely along party lines, one Democrat voted with most Republicans against killing the bill: Jim Maggiore of North Hampton.

Ten Republicans joined most Democrats in voting to kill the statistics bill: Edward “Ned” Gordon of Bristol, Erin Hennessey of Littleton, David Danielson and John Graham of Bedford, Russell Ober and Andrew Prout of Hudson, Mark Proulx of Manchester, Dan Wolf of Newbury, Betsy McKinney of Londonderry, and Josh Yokela of Fremont.

Big Step Forward for St. Gianna’s Place

After a long search, the board of St. Gianna’s Place has made the announcement I’ve been waiting for. From Facebook:

With great joy and gratitude, we announce that St. Gianna’s Place has found a home! We signed a lease on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We will soon be opening our doors to welcome pregnant women in crisis and their babies. We are grateful to God for leading and inspiring us on this journey, and we are grateful to our supporters for making this possible.
We humbly ask for your continued prayers and support as we prepare to open our home to some of God’s most vulnerable. We are hosting a Go Fund Me event to raise money to purchase necessary items for our new home. If you would like to help, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/StGiannasPlace.
Again, thank you for your continued prayers and support.
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His Goodness.” St. Gianna pray for us!

How fitting that the lease was signed on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, given the faith and persistence of the volunteers who have brought the project this far. Housing for pregnant and parenting women in crisis is at a premium in southern New Hampshire, and St. Gianna’s Place will be part of a solution. The home will be in Hudson, and the opening date will be announced later. Right now, the task at hand is to prepare the building for occupancy.

Please view and share the Go Fund Me page set up by St. Gianna’s Place volunteers. Their immediate goal is $1000 for basic things like linens and cleaning supplies. A modest donation can go a long way.

I recall listening to a St. Gianna’s board member a couple of years ago, describing the vision driving the project. “Our Calcutta is right here,” she told me, comparing Mother Teresa’s mission field to ours here in New Hampshire, where so many more shelter beds are needed.

The signed lease goes a long way toward bringing the vision to life.