On Wednesday, we wrote about our support for a floor amendment to HB 1609 proposed by courageous NH state Senator Regina Birdsell, which would have created a legal safe harbor for preborn children diagnosed with abnormalities incompatible with life. You can read the Birdsell amendment for yourself here.
Senator Birdsell’s amendment would have allowed children diagnosed with fatal abnormalities to be delivered by induction. This amendment sought to offer a common sense compromise, giving children with these difficult diagnoses a chance at life while also allowing Granite State women to end pregnancies deemed to be nonviable.
A major reason we supported Senator Birdsell’s floor amendment is that it would have disincentivized late-term abortion tourism to Massachusetts, which allows unlimited abortion up to birth. If a New Hampshire child was diagnosed with a fatal abnormality, and the mother wished to end the pregnancy, her health care provider could have offered to spare her an out-of-state trip by simply performing an induction—potentially saving the child’s life.
Multiple medical experts have testified before both houses that late-term induction is perfectly safe for the mother. And because all hospitals in New Hampshire are legally “safe havens,” any unwanted child who survived could have been left at the hospital—no questions asked. “Safe haven” laws already require that the state Department of Health and Human Services shall be responsible for the medical expenses of any unwanted child left at a hospital.
Yesterday, the Birdsell Amendment was defeated on the Senate floor in a 14-10 vote. The Senate instead voted to pass the House version of HB 1609, which creates an exemption to the 24-week abortion ban for children with fetal abnormalities incompatible with life—as well as reiterating and further clarifying the ultrasound requirement in the law.
Although the floor amendment we supported was defeated, we are grateful to the 10 Republican senators who championed it. Please thank Senator Regina Birdsell for her boldness and statesmanship in leading the charge to protect as many of the preborn as possible. Please also thank the other nine Republican senators who voted for her amendment, including Bill Gannon, Chuck Morse, John Reagan, Kevin Avard, Gary Daniels, Denise Ricciardi, Ruth Ward, James Gray, and Bob Giuda. If any of these 10 senators represents you, it is especially important to thank them. Please also thank state representative Matt Simon for his advocacy for this amendment.