The New Hampshire House just passed pro-life legislation to protect viable, late-term unborn babies from abortions in their state.
Most Americans support protections for unborn babies once they are viable outside the womb, but a few states, including New Hampshire, allow abortions without limits up to birth. After voters elected Republican majorities to the state House and Senate last fall, however, that could change.
The AP reports state House Bill 625, which would ban abortions after 24 weeks unless the mother’s life is at risk, passed by a strong majority in a 181-49 vote in late February. The state Senate now is considering it.
“For me the fundamental question is ‘who is a person?’ and ‘what rights does a person deserve?’ ” New Hampshire Right to Life President James Hennessey told V News. “Unborn children deserve protection.”
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Babies who are born prematurely at 24 weeks have a strong chance of surviving and thriving, Hennessey said. The U.S. Supreme Court also recognizes viability as an important marker and allows states to protect unborn babies from abortion once they reach that point.
State House Majority Leader Jason Osborne, R-Auburn, pointed out that late-term abortion bans have strong public support.
“At 24 weeks the unborn are considered viable, and this bill allows them to have the same right to life as any other human,” he said in a statement.
But V News reports Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and several other groups are lobbying against it.
“This bill will not do anything to reduce the number of abortions,” Planned Parenthood leader Kayla Montgomery told the news outlet. “This bill will only cause harm to people who need abortion care later in pregnancy.”
But OB-GYNs and even some pro-abortion researchers have refuted these claims.
In 2019, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors issued a statement explaining why intentionally killing a late-term unborn baby in an abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.
“In cases where the mother’s life actually is in danger in the latter half of pregnancy, there is not time for an abortion, because an abortion typically is a two to three-day process. Instead, immediate delivery is needed in these situations …” they said. “There is no medical reason to intentionally kill that fetal human being …”
Abortion activists also have admitted that pro-life laws do save babies’ lives and prevent abortions.
What’s more, abortion lobbyists admit that most late-term abortions are done on healthy mothers carrying healthy babies. Guttmacher Institute statistics confirm that “most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” Instead, data suggest that “most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous.”
Late-term abortionist Martin Haskell, who is credited with popularizing the partial-birth abortion procedure, said in a 1993 interview with American Medical News: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective.”
New York Magazine also recently featured the story of an Oregon woman who aborted her unborn baby at 28 weeks of pregnancy for purely elective reasons; both she and her unborn baby were healthy.