What’s the one question that belongs front & center in the NH fetal homicide debate?

I am traveling this week and am therefore getting New Hampshire news a tad late. Two related items have crossed my social media feed in the past few hours: the state senate passed HB 560, fetal homicide, on a 12-11 vote, and New Hampshire Right to Life is calling for defeat of the bill in its current form.

Apparently, the language adopted by the Senate is the same deal-breaker as last year: it would apply only in cases where the preborn child is “viable.” Ask the families who testified for fetal homicide legislation last year how “viable” their children were after sustaining traumatic injury from automobile collisions.

As far as I can see, one question should occupy the minds of all senators and representatives who look at the bill: does it address the concerns expressed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court in the Lamy case?

If yes, pass the bill. If not, amend it until it does.

I don’t know if legislators have sought an advisory opinion from the court about any proposed version of HB 560. Isn’t this a situation that calls for such a step? Had such an opinion been in hand during last year’s committee of conference on fetal homicide, we’d probably have a statute in place right now.

While that question about the Lamy case should occupy senators and reps, another question ought to occupy voters: why are there senators who respect a woman’s choice to terminate a pregnancy but not a woman’s choice to carry a pregnancy to term?

Author: Ellen Kolb

New Hampshire-based writer, activist, hiker.