For the fifth time in two weeks, the House passed a bill intended to restrict abortions in New Hampshire, voting Thursday to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.Abortion providers would face felony charges punishable by up to 15 years in prison for violating the proposed law, although the mother would not be prosecuted. The House voted 190-109 to send the bill to the Senate. The fate of the bill and four others sent to the Senate is uncertain.Laura Thibault, interim executive director of the local NARAL Pro-Choice America group, says no elective abortions are provided in New Hampshire now beyond 20 weeks.The bill would exempt later-term abortions under certain circumstances: to save the life of the mother and the fetus, or to avert the serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.NARAL says six states have bans in place for abortions beyond 20 weeks and nine, including New Hampshire, introduced bills this year.The Legislature traditionally had rejected limits on abortion before Republicans took control in 2010 with one exception — enactment of a parental notification law for minors in 2003 that was never implemented and was later repealed by Democrats. Republicans overrode Democratic Gov. John Lynch’s veto of a similar bill last year and it took effect in January. Lynch, who supports abortion rights, has not said if he would veto the latest bills.Besides the 20-week ban, the House voted over the past two weeks to ban partial-birth abortions, require women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion, approve a study to recommend a process to collect statistics on abortion and to change the timing given judges to rule on whether a minor can have an abortion when she does not want to notify her parents in advance.In January, the House also voted to ban publicly funded contracts with organizations that provide elective abortions even if private money is used to pay for the service. State officials say the bill could jeopardize New Hampshire’s $1.4 billion annual Medicaid program. The Senate has a hearing scheduled on the bill April 5.
It’s crucial that we demonstrate that anyone can–and everyone should–oppose abortion. Thanks to you, we are working to change minds, transform our culture, and protect our prenatal children. Every donation supports our ability to provide nonsectarian, nonpartisan arguments against abortion. Read more details here. Please donate today.