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Will you step up, governor?

By Monica A. Ciolfi - Concord | Apr 15, 2023

Last year while campaigning, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said he would like to see the criminal penalties removed from the 24-week abortion ban he signed into law two years ago. Now is his chance to act!

The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently passed HB 224, which would repeal the provision of law that criminalizes doctors for providing care. That bill, which was sponsored by Republicans and Democrats and passed with bipartisan support, now moves to the Senate where it will have a hearing April 6.

Medical providers testified that the prospect of criminal penalties can deter specialists in high-risk pregnancies from practicing in the State and it can cause physicians to delay care until a patient’s health deteriorates. According to Dr. Ilana Cass, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Dartmouth Health, abortions later in pregnancy most commonly involve a fetus developing a “catastrophic” anomaly that will prevent it from surviving.

Although the ban has already been amended twice, to remove an ultrasound mandate and to add an exception for fatal fetal diagnoses, the law continues to cause unnecessary harm.

We know that actions speak louder than words. The least Governor Sununu can do is to spend some time and political capital urging his Republican colleagues to repeal the most draconian part of his very bad law: its criminal penalties. Sununu must step up and make good on his campaign promises. Let’s ask Governor Sununu to persuade his Republican colleagues in the Senate to vote “yeah” on HB 224.


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