Does a G.O.P. majority in Concord mean pro-life progress?

With the decision by state senator Andrew Hosmer to drop his recount bid, the New Hampshire Senate is set for the upcoming term with fourteen Republicans and ten Democrats. The GOP has the edge in the House, 225-175, pending a couple of recounts.

So what? To the extent that the numbers advance pro-life policy, hooray for the GOP. I’m holding my applause for now.

With a Republican House, Senate, and Governor, will New Hampshire have a fetal homicide law and an abortion statistics law by the end of the 2017-18 legislative session? Will the buffer zone law be repealed? Or is there no difference between the parties on these measures?

None of those types of legislation attack or undermine Roe v. Wade. None of them affect a woman’s ability to choose abortion. None of them affect funding of abortion providers. Neither fetal homicide nor stats collection is revolutionary: the New Hampshire Supreme Court suggested to legislators seven years ago that they review our homicide statutes as they pertain to the death of a fetus, and the federal Centers for Disease Control has collected abortion stats for public health purposes for many years. Repealing the buffer zone law would be a sensible response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s McCullen decision.

The time is ripe for buffer zone repeal, fetal homicide, and abortion statistics.

I know that if the recent election had gone the other way, such legislation would have no chance. I’d like to be optimistic now, but I’m more inclined to watchful waiting. I’ve seen Republican majorities before.


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