Respect the Choice Not to Fund Abortion Providers: HB 486 (2009)

Cornerstone Policy Research supports House Bill 486. We commend Rep. Nancy Elliott and the bill’s co-sponsors for respecting the consciences of their neighbors and fellow citizens, to whom abortions are deplorable, and choose not to fund them either privately or through taxation.

The fiscal note prepared for the bill correctly states that pursuant to current federal law, none of the money paid to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England under the terms of a contract with the state of New Hampshire can be used for abortions. The contracted services are for family planning, broadly defined. Those services are not at issue here, nor is the liberty to seek and provide abortion.

The issue here is that when an agency that provides abortions receives a government grant or contract to provide some other service, that frees up other internal resources with which the agency may perform or advocate for abortion. The taxpayer therefore provides indirect support for abortion, regardless of the taxpayer’s own beliefs, conscience, and choices. And unlike other issues where this circumstance may occur, the indirect support for abortion services specifically should not be trivialized, as I’m sure I do not need to go into the very strong feelings from both sides of the aisle on this issue.

Passage of HB 486 will tell the public that out of respect for our citizens to whom abortion is a violation of human life and dignity, the state chooses not to do business, via the Department of Health and Human Services, with vendors who provide abortion services. Meanwhile, the services that were being rendered to the Department can still be put out to bid to other health care providers. This is a sensible, balanced approach that respects citizens with strong divergent views. Under 486, PPNNE can do as it pleases – without state funding. Thus I, and every other woman and girl in the state, have an unrestricted right to abortion – and you don’t have to pay for it.

Any claims that come before the committee about how passage of the bill would affect certain provisions of health care deserve your close scrutiny. I would urge you to subject any dollar figure given to the same examination you would in a budget hearing.

If choice itself is paramount to you, I would respectfully ask that you recognize the same right of conscientious choice in your neighbors by supporting this bill. Thank you.