Seven New Hampshire House members are co-sponsoring a measure that would create a right to abortion protected under the New Hampshire Constitution. The House Judiciary Committee will have a public hearing on CACR 14 at 1 p.m. on January 22 in room 208 of the Legislative Office Building (Update: Because of the large number of attendees, this has been changed to Reps Hall in the State House). Learn what the amendment says, what it means, and how you can affect the outcome.
What CACR 14 says
The key text of CACR 14: “The right to make personal reproductive medical decisions is inviolate and fundamental to the human condition. Neither the State nor any political subdivision shall infringe upon or unduly inconvenience this right.”
“CACR” means “constitutional amendment concurrent resolution.” CACR 14 mimics legislation (not constitutional amendments) passed recently in New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and currently under consideration in Massachusetts.
What the proposed constitutional amendment means
If passed, this amendment would survive the overturning of Roe v. Wade at the federal level, should that ever occur. While the sponsors use the phrase “reproductive medical decisions,” abortion is at the heart of this effort. Creating an “inviolate and fundamental” right to abortion would mean public funding of direct abortion under Medicaid and other tax-funded programs. It would make meaningful conscience protections impossible for anyone called upon to participate in abortion as a condition of employment. It would mean an end to New Hampshire’s two hard-won regulations on abortion: parental notification and a ban on partial-birth abortion.
If three-fifths of New Hampshire House members and three-fifths of the State Senators approve CACR 14, it will go on the general election ballot in November 2020. Constitutional amendments don’t go through the Governor’s office.
What You Can Do
Cornerstone’s guide to testifying in Concord will give you details on how to take each of the steps below. Here’s how you can make your voice heard as CACR 14 is considered.
- Attend the hearing in room 208 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord on January 22 at 1 p.m. A significant pro-life presence will send a message to the Judiciary Committee.
- You can sign a sheet there indicating your opposition, without having to testify aloud.
- You can provide written testimony to the committee.
- You can sign up to testify aloud by filling out one of the pink cards that will be available in the hearing room. The committee chair will collect the cards and then call on people one by one.
- Whenever you’re writing or speaking to a legislator about a bill, including at public hearings, be brief, clear, and courteous.
Look for Cornerstone’s weekly legislative updates (subscribe here) as we track the progress of CACR 14.
The Cornerstone team looks forward to seeing you at the hearing on the 22nd!