Week of February 22, 2021
House Session This Wednesday and Thursday: Call Your Representatives Now!
This week the NH House of Representatives will meet on Wednesday, February 24, and Thursday, February 25 to vote on a number of bills. Among these bills are several extremely important pro-life bills. Please call your representatives and ask them to vote YES on HB 625 and HB 430.
For more information on the individual bills, see below or visit our action center on our website.
HB 625-FN: relative to the protection of fetal life
HB 625, Relative to the protection of fetal life, would prohibit a healthcare provider in NH from aborting a preborn child with a gestational age of at least 24 weeks. HB 625 is the most critical life bill introduced this session intended to add some accountability and framework into the wide-open abortion industry in the state. Read the rest of the article here.
HB 430: repealing the prohibition on entering or remaining on a public way or sidewalk adjacent to a reproductive health care facility
HB 430, The Sidewalk Free Speech Act, will repeal the current ability for abortion clinics to prohibit people from gathering in public areas near their clinics. Cornerstone strongly supports this bill. Not only does it address what is essentially a throttle on free speech in the state, the constitutionality of our current “buffer zone” is in question (a similar law was invalidated in Massachusetts under the First Amendment). Read the rest of the article here.
Committee Hearings Next Week
HB 440 with Amendment: Civil Liberties Defense Act:
WHEN: The hearing will take place before the Judiciary Committee on Friday, February 26, at 1:00 PM
CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS this bill.
HB 440 was introduced by Rep. Jim Kofalt to codify general protections for religious liberty in state law. However, after Rep. Kofalt introduced the bill, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held in its Mack decision that the New Hampshire Constitution now requires exactly the same protections.
Accordingly, Rep. Kofalt is seeking to amend 440 to replace it with the Civil Liberties Defense Act. This bill will protect all civil liberties from being “suspended” during a state of emergency—something Governor Sununu’s attorneys have claimed the power to do. Read more about the issue of civil liberties “suspension” here.
WHAT CAN I DO:
It is likely that people who oppose religious liberty will “sign in” in opposition to 440. Accordingly, by “signing in” in support, you can express your support for both religious liberty and civil liberties in general. You need not wait for the session, but may sign in immediately.
For instructions on how to sign in and more info on the bill go here.
At this time, we are not asking for testimony from the general public on 440, as the bill is focused on legal issues.
Update on Recent Legislative Action
Bills we have been following, that are now on to the next steps. Your voice still needed and still matters!
HB 20 FN A-L: establishing the Richard “Dick” Hinch education freedom account program
CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 20
STATUS: Retained by Committee
On Thursday, February 18, the House Education Committee voted to retain HB 20, establishing the Richard “Dick” Hinch education freedom account program. The decision was based on several factors, including an error in the amendment to the bill. However, a Senate bill, SB 130, which is a duplicate of HB 20 is scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, March 2. To sign in in support of this bill visit the senate’s website here.
For more information on education freedom accounts go here.