Legislative Update March 2

Week of March 2-6, 2020

Calls to Action for Week of March 2

  • House to vote on abortion amendment to NH Constitution (CACR 14) Thursday, March 5
  • Senate meets Thursday, March 5; abortion-insurance bill still pending (SB 486-FN)
  • House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs committee to vote on parental rights (HB 1404) and vital records (HB 1577-FN) Tuesday, March 3
  • House Judiciary Committee to vote on several life-issue bills Wednesday, March 4 (HB 1659-FN, Assisted Suicide; HB 1675-FN, Infant Born Alive; HB 1678-FN, Prenatal non-discrimination)

BILL: CACR 14, Abortion in New Hampshire Constitution

WHEN: The New Hampshire House will vote on CACR 14 on March 5. The committee recommendation is “inexpedient to legislate.”

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone opposes CACR 14, and supports the committee recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate.” For more information, see our blog post, “Constitutional Amendment on Abortion Meets Strong Opposition.” The amendment is supposedly about “reproductive medical decisions,” but it is clearly meant to make abortion a protected activity in our state constitution. 

The majority report from the Judiciary Committee said that even some representatives who were sympathetic to the amendment couldn’t support it because they “found the provisions contradictory, confusing and subject to possible unintended consequences.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your state representative(s) before March 5 and ask them to accept the committee recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate” on CACR 14.

BILL: SB 486-FN, requiring health insurance policies that offer maternity benefits to cover abortions

WHEN: The Senate Commerce Committee and the full Senate could vote on the bill this week. The committee hearing took place on February 18.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES SB 486-FN. See Cornerstone’s testimony on the bill and the Union Leader’s coverage of the committee hearing. 

WHY: SB 486-FN is both a religious liberty and life issue. By coercing all business owners (and their employees and customers) to provide direct material support for abortion regardless of their personal or moral convictions, the bill clearly crosses a line by violating constitutionally protected religious freedom and conscience rights.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your state senator and urge a vote of “inexpedient to legislate” on SB 486-FN. The bill is not at this time listed on the Senate calendar for the March 5 session, but if the Senate Commerce Committee votes on the bill earlier in the week, it is possible it could be added to the calendar.

Committee Hearing this week

BILL: SB 480, Participation in School Sports for Female Athletes (Save Women’s Sports)

WHEN: The New Hampshire Senate Education and Workforce Development committee will have a hearing on its own version of the Save Women’s Sports bill on Tuesday, March 3. (See below for the status of the House version of the bill, HB 1251.) 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS SB 480. Every athlete, of whatever skill level, deserves the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. Biological males don’t belong in women’s sports. Read Cornerstone’s testimony on the House version of Save Women’s Sports. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Senate procedure could allow this bill to come to committee and full Senate votes very quickly – possibly as early as March 5. Even before the hearing, it’s not too early to contact your state senator and ask for an “ought to pass” vote on SB 480 as introduced by the sponsors.

Committee Votes this week

The following two bills will be voted on by the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs committee on March 3. There is still time to encourage the committee members to vote appropriately on each bill.

BILL: HB 1404, Prophylactic Treatment for HIV/AIDS for Minors Without Parental Consent

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES HB 1404. By leaving parents out of the knowledge/consent process for dispensing prophylactic drugs to minors engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, we are failing to care for and adequately protect our children.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the members of the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs committee (click link for complete list of committee members) and request an “inexpedient to legislate” vote on HB 1404. 

BILL: HB 1577-FN, Amending Birth Certificates to Reflect Gender Reassignment

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES HB 1577-FN. Read our testimony on the bill. The language of the bill suggests that sex is “assigned” at birth rather than recognized. Tinkering with birth records – which are vital records meant to record a set of objective circumstances at a specific time – is unwise. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the members of the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee and request an “inexpedient to legislate” vote on HB 1577-FN. 

The following three bills will be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee on March 4. There is still time to encourage the committee members to vote appropriately on each bill.

If you email the committee, please send a separate email for each bill, and put the bill number in the subject line. Doing so will help the representatives sort the responses they’re getting for each bill. If you call, you can mention multiple bills. As always, the best messages are brief, clear, and courteous.

BILL: HB 1659-FN Assisted Suicide

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES HB 1659-FN. Codifying assisted suicide under state law will hurt the people of New Hampshire, particularly our most vulnerable neighbors. Read and share our blog post on HB 1659-FN.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 1659-FN.

BILL: HB 1675-FN, Born-Alive Infant Protection Act

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1675-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony, clarifying the bill and its scope.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “ought to pass” on HB 1675-FN.

BILL: HB 1678-FN, Prenatal Non-discrimination Act

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1678-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony on the bill. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote “ought to pass” on HB 1678-FN.

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! 

BILL: HB 1251, Participation in school sports for female student athletes (Save Women’s Sports)

STATUS: The House Education committee on February 26 voted “inexpedient to legislate” to HB 1251. This means the full House will receive a recommendation to kill the bill. 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1251, and opposes the committee recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate.” The research and science are clear. Allowing biological males to compete against girls robs girls of the opportunity to win or participate.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The full House is likely to vote on HB 1251 March 11 or 12. Contact your state representatives and ask that they overturn the committee’s “inexpedient to legislate” report, and instead vote “ought to pass” on HB 1251.

BILL: HB 1616, Authorizing Minors Age 12 and Older to See Mental Health Practitioners Without Parental Consent


STATUS: The House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee voted unanimously to send the bill to Interim Study, which would effectively kill the bill for this year. 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone opposes HB 1616, a bill that undermines parental rights. An Interim Study vote is sufficient to kill the bill.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The full House is likely to vote on HB 1616 on March 11 or 12. Contact your state representatives and ask that they accept the committee’s Interim Study report on HB 1616.