Pro-life Republicans in New Hampshire are continuing to advance a bill that prohibits abortions at 24 weeks (22 weeks post-fertilization) except to save the mother’s life. The bill passed the House last month on a vote of 191-160. Yesterday, on a party line vote of 3-2, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced HB 625 to the Senate floor.
According to reporter Josh Rogers of New Hampshire NPR, “New Hampshire is one of a handful of states that currently have no gestational limit on abortions. Other than a parental notification law and a ban on so-called ‘partial birth’ procedures, New Hampshire has few limits on the right to an abortion” .
State Sen. Bill Gannon, R-Sandown, echoed that sentiment, noting that New Hampshire’s abortion laws are among the most permissive in the nation.
“Forty-three of the states have (bans on) late-term abortions at or before 24 weeks,” Gannon said. “We will be very much more like the rest of the country and how they view late-term abortions.”
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Added Sen. Harold French, R-Canterbury, “I personally believe 24 weeks is a modest goal for us to reach on a very divisive issue…I am very much in support of this bill.”
National Right to Life’s Ingrid Duran told NRL News Today that “NRLC commends the pro-life leaders of the NH Senate Judiciary Committee for advancing a bill aimed at protecting unborn children at 22 weeks post-fertilization age where scientific evidence demonstrates the unborn child’s capacity to feel pain.” NRL’s Director of State Legislation added, “Babies at this age are already surviving and more will as the technology available in prenatal Intensive Care Units continues to improve.”
In addition to opposing the bill on principle, pro-abortion Democrats tried to “nationalize” the debate.
But “Republican Sen. Sharon Carson of Londonderry, who chairs the [Senate Judiciary] committee, noted that gestational limits on abortion rights have been debated before, and that the desire to tighten access to abortion is homegrown,” according to Rogers’ story. “This is not the nationalization of this issue,” Carson said.
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