On April 13, the NH House Judiciary Committee will hear Senate Bill 399. Although this bill was introduced to repeal the Fetal Life Protection Act—New Hampshire’s only protection for the late-term pre-born—it was then amended by the NH Senate into a form that Cornerstone supports.
However, as most pro-life Granite Staters know, the NH House Judiciary Committee is controlled by pro-abortion extremists. This is true even though the NH Republican Party—which claims that life is sacred “from conception”—holds a majority in the House.
The fate that awaits this bill in the Judiciary Committee is no mystery. The Committee has heard two other abortion-related bills this session: HB 622 and HB 1673. Both times, the Committee rewrote the bill from scratch with language designed to totally gut the FLPA and authorize unlimited abortion up to birth. The most recent of these two bills, HB 1673, was just defeated on the House floor by a two-vote margin.
On April 14, the Committee is scheduled to go into an executive session on this bill. SB 399 will then be turned into the third Judiciary-created gutting bill this year. Given the often-variable attendance in the House—and the narrow margin by which HB 1673 was just defeated—a third gutting bill could potentially pass on the House floor. This would be a nationally historic failure and betrayal for any Republican-led legislature.
Also on the Judiciary Committee is Rep. Joe Alexander, who stood alongside Chairman Gordon in an attempt to gut the six-month abortion ban in September 2021. Alexander then voted to allow abortion clinics to prohibit sidewalk counseling, protesting, and prayer on public sidewalks in February and again in March 2022. Although Alexander did cast some pro-life votes during those same months, his record on abortion remains mixed and unreliable—meaning that he could very well join Gordon in creating a third gutting bill during the April 14 executive session.
GOP leadership recently expelled a committee chair from his seat over an embarrassing gaffe. Yet leadership has consistently rebuffed all pro-life calls to expel, curtail, or censure pro-abortion GOP representatives on the Judiciary Committee.
SB 399 did not need to be assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the first place. HB 1609, which modified exactly the same statutory provisions—even more extensively—was assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee. We are not aware that anyone has even challenged that decision.
Some might argue that pro-life calls to remove Committee members over their pro-abortion extremism is a manipulation of the political process. But precisely the opposite is true. The fact is that most Granite Staters voted for a party which claims to support the sanctity of life from conception. Additionally, polls consistently show that around 60% of Granite Staters think that abortion should be illegal in at least some circumstances.
It is NH House GOP leadership that has manipulated the system and artificially privileged a pro-abortion extremist minority within the GOP, knowingly giving them key committee and leadership assignments and unnecessarily granting them control over abortion-related bills—with predictable results.
Another common refrain when Cornerstone criticizes Republicans is “Why aren’t you criticizing the Democrats?”. While Cornerstone often does criticize Democrats, the answer in this case is simple: it is Republicans who are doing this. Republicans chose the members of the House Judiciary Committee. Republicans have allowed the Committee to create two extreme pro-abortion bills from scratch. Republicans have now given the committee control of SB 399—even though they were not required to do so. If the House passes an unlimited abortion bill this session, it will be because Republicans encouraged and facilitated the process every step of the way.
The NH House recently voted for a compromise, put forward by the House Finance Committee, which adds an exception to the FLPA for fetal anomalies “incompatible with life.” But for House GOP leadership, it seems, this is not enough. Leadership has rebuffed offers of friendly cooperation with Cornerstone and the pro-life community and instead appears determined to allow SB 399 to be rewritten into yet another extremist gutting bill.
If this happens, New Hampshire could become the first Republican-trifecta state in American history to authorize unlimited abortion up to birth. Republican-led attacks on our modest protections for the late-term preborn must stop and the new law be allowed to stand. It’s time to demand that House Republican leadership change course and turn away from the path of extremism and betrayal. Tell House GOP leadership it is long past time to intervene in the House Judiciary Committee and protect the Fetal Life Protection Act.
House Speaker Sherman Packard: 603-271-3661 or email@example.com
Majority Leader Jason Osborne: 603-391-2138 or Jason@Osborne4NH.com
Deputy Majority Leader Laurie Sanborn: 603-682-1557 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Majority Leader Fred Doucette: 603-553-6460 or Fred.Doucette@leg.state.nh.us
Assistant Majority Leader Jordan Ulery: 603-882-8979 or email@example.com
Assistant Majority Leader Stephen Pearson: 603-548-8523 or Steve.Pearson@leg.state.nh.us
Assistant Majority Leader Scott Wallace: Scott.Wallace@leg.state.nh.us
Assistant Majority Leader Michael Harrington: 603-942-8691 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Majority Leader Claire Rouillard: 603-494-6144 or email@example.com