On pro-life reps, the death penalty, and going six-for-six

When I listed “five-for-five” New Hampshire state representatives in the blog’s pre-primary newsletter, I was referring to votes on five life-issue bills from the 2014 session of the legislature. There’s another bill that I didn’t mention in the newsletter, though, and I should have: HB 1170, repealing New Hampshire’s death penalty. You may recall that the repeal bill passed the House in a shocking vote, before failing on a tie in the Senate.

I’ve explained as best I can why I no longer support capital punishment, but I understand that some of my most committed pro-life colleagues haven’t made that leap. I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind today. I’m simply offering another piece of information for concerned voters.

In the recent newsletter, I took note of votes on five life-issue bills (listed below). Sixteen representatives who voted pro-life on all five – no absences, excused or otherwise – will be on the ballot in November. Who among them voted this year to repeal the death penalty, making them six-for-six?

  • Rep. Bill Nelson (R), Carroll County district 5 (Brookfield, Effingham, Ossipee, Wakefield)
  • Rep. David Danielson (R), Hillsborough County district 7 (Bedford)
  • Rep. Robert Rowe (R), Hillsborough County district 22 (Amherst)
  • Rep. Don LeBrun (R), Hillsborough County district 32 (Nashua ward 5)
  • Rep. Frank Kotowski (R), Merrimack County district 24 (Hooksett)
  • Rep. John T. O’Connor (R), Rockingham County district 6 (Derry)
  • Rep. Jeffrey Harris (R), Rockingham County district 9 (Epping)

An exhaustive list of full-spectrum pro-life representatives? No, merely some names worth noting, reflecting six votes this year by consistent, conscientious legislators.

The five 2014 bills and votes I used to evaluate House incumbents running for re-election:

  • HB 1501, strengthening public-health oversight of abortion facilities and requiring providers to have admitting privileges at an area hospital; the pro-life vote was No on “inexpedient to legislate” motion
  • HB 1503, Griffin’s Law, the fetal-homicide bill; more than thirty states have such legislation; the pro-life vote was to support the original language of the bill instead of the House amendment
  • HB 1504, the “All People Created Equal Act”, recognizing that life begins at conception; the pro-life vote was No on “inexpedient to legislate” motion
  • HB 1325, legalizing assisted suicide; the pro-life vote was Yes on “inexpedient to legislate” motion
  • SB 319, establishing a no-silent-prayer “buffer” around abortion facilities; the pro-life vote was No on “ought to pass” motion

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