FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/7/12
Contact: Ellen Kolb, 603-321-2703
CONCORD, NH, 3/7/12 – Cornerstone Action endorses two pro-life bills expected to be voted on by the New Hampshire House this week.
House Bill 1659, the Women’s Right to Know Act, will finally put women’s health on a par in the eyes of the law with the right to choose abortion. Thirteen co-sponsors signed on to this carefully-drafted bill that will require abortion providers to get documented informed consent from a patient before an abortion takes place. Far from attacking Roe v. Wade, the Women’s Right to Know bill is consistent with U.S. Supreme Court rulings dating back twenty years to the Casey decision.
House Bill 1679 would make partial-birth abortion illegal in New Hampshire. This late-term procedure, in which a fetus is partially delivered before being put to death, is barbaric and unnecessary. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a federal partial-birth abortion ban. A federal Administration could decide not to enforce the federal ban, making a state-level law desirable. With other abortion methods available, and in view of the fact that partial-birth blurs the line between abortion and infanticide, New Hampshire has an interest in preventing this procedure from gaining any traction in this state.
Opponents of a partial-birth ban claimed during a hearing on the bill that such procedures are not performed in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, that cannot be verified, since the state does not require reporting on methods used by abortion providers.
Informed consent has not impaired the practice of medicine with respect to other procedures, so the Women’s Right to Know bill should pose no problem for health care providers who are genuinely concerned with women’s health.
Under both bills, a woman’s right to choose abortion is protected. The bills were drafted with the assistance of experts in constitutional law, and neither bill seeks to pick a fight with the Supreme Court. New Hampshire’s abortion providers work virtually without regulation. In fact, under Roe v. Wade, numerous reasonable regulations with respect to women’s health and safety are permitted, and many states have enacted legislation accordingly. We welcome these efforts to move New Hampshire’s laws into the 21century with respect to women’s health and abortion.