New Hampshire’s Second District Congresswoman, Democrat Ann Kuster, has a battle ahead of her next year. There will be at least two Republicans competing to get past the GOP primary and onto the November ballot.
Gary Lambert served as state senator from Nashua for one term. His campaign web site highlights his experience as a Marine Corps veteran, but I still think of him as Senator Lambert. Marilinda Garcia is serving her fourth term as a state representative from Salem and is now seeking the CD2 seat. Both candidates’ web sites emphasize economic issues.
So where are they on the right to life? Their Concord records look good, based on votes in 2012. Lambert was on the short end of some Senate votes to shunt aside good bills, indicating his willingness to keep conversations going even when there was no straight-up-or-down vote at stake.
HB 217, fetal homicide (I wrote an overview of the bill here): Lambert and Garcia supported the bill. When Governor John Lynch vetoed it, Garcia voted to override the veto. The House override vote fell just short of the necessary two-thirds.
HB 228, prohibiting the use of public funds for abortion services: Garcia voted yes. When the bill got to the Senate, it was tabled, with Lambert opposing the tabling motion.
HB 1659, Women’s Right to Know (informed consent for abortion): Garcia was absent from the final House vote on the bill, but she earlier opposed a motion to kill it. The Senate killed the bill, with Lambert voting against the Inexpedient to Legislate (ITL) motion.
HB 1660, to limit post-20-week abortions: Garcia voted yes. In the Senate, where the bill was sent to interim study and never heard from again, Lambert opposed the interim study motion.
HB 1679, a ban on partial-birth abortion, which passed and is now on the books: Garcia and Lambert supported the bill, and they both voted to override Gov. Lynch’s veto. This one did not affect the legality of abortion overall; it just ruled out the killing of a partially-emerged child as an abortion method. Remember that when abortion advocates start calling Garcia or Lambert “anti-choice.”
HB 1680, abortion statistics: here’s a weird one. Rep. Garcia was the chief sponsor of a bill calling for the collection of abortion statistics. It passed, but it did nothing to bring stats reporting to New Hampshire. It was amended into nothingness.The final bill called on the Health and Human Services committee to set up a subcommittee to advise the General Court (House & Senate) “on the collection of data regarding induced termination of pregnancy statistics.” There was never any follow-up. This paper “win” was therefore not substantive. For what it’s worth, the gutted bill passed both Houses without a recorded roll call (division vote in House, voice vote in Senate).
HCR 31, commending pregnancy care centers that provide life-affirming options without doing abortions: Garcia voted for the resolution in the House, where it passed by a single vote. The Senate passed it on a voice vote.
HCR 41, urging Congress to find the U.S. grant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England null and void: this was a way for legislators to express their annoyance at the federal government for helping PPNNE get around the state’s decision to reject its Title X contract in 2011. Garcia voted yes, Lambert voted no, and the resolution failed.
I can attest to the calm and respectful manner in which both candidates conducted themselves at the State House during hearings and discussions on these bills. They have the temperament of bridge-builders. It remains to be seen how that holds up during what is sure to be a lively campaign.