New Hampshire House committees have made their recommendations on bill that were retained for study earlier this year. Each of these bills will be voted on by the full House early in 2018.
HB 287, Study Changes to Prostitution Laws in New Hampshire: The House committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety approved an amended version of HB 287 on a 14-6 vote. The amendment is disappointing and does not resolve Cornerstone’s concerns with the bill. We recommend that HB 287 as amended be voted “inexpedient to legislate” by the full House.
When the bill was introduced, and throughout the work sessions this fall on the bill, Cornerstone urged that the bill shift its focus to a study of human trafficking in New Hampshire. We also urged that legislators explicitly reject re-defining prostitution as a type of regulated industry called “sex work.”
HB 471, Abortion Statistics: The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 12-8 along party lines to recommend “ought to pass as amended” on this important public health measure that protects the anonymity of patients and providers alike. Cornerstone supports the committee’s “ought to pass with amendment” recommendation.
HB 156, Fetal Homicide: The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to recommend “inexpedient to legislate” on a measure to change New Hampshire’s new fetal homcide law to make it effective at 8 weeks of pregnancy rather than 20. Cornerstone recommends that the House overturn the committee recommendation and vote “ought to pass” on HB 156.
HB 587, Conversion Therapy Ban: The Health and Human Services Committee voted along party lines to recommend “inexpedient to legislate” on a proposed ban on “conversion therapy” for gender-questioning minors. “Conversion therapy” is poorly-defined. While Cornerstone agrees with legislators who do not want minors to be subjected to abusive clinical therapy, supporters of the bill could not produce any therapists currently engaged in such discredited practices. Cornerstone supports the “inexpedient to legislate” recommendation on this unnecessary bill.
Read more in Cornerstone’s latest email update.