Born-alive legislation, 2021

“Any born alive infant, including one born in the course of an abortion, shall be treated as a legal person under the laws of this state, with the same rights to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment…Any health care provider present at the time the infant is born shall take all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to the preserve the life and health of the born alive infant.”

That’s the key language from HB 233-FN, the born-alive infant protection bill to be heard in House Judiciary on February 10. The bill seeks to assure that once a child survives abortion – that is, once a pregnancy has been terminated and a living child remains – that child has an enforceable right to medically appropriate and reasonable care.

If you think that’s a good idea, speak up. It’s not an idea that has yet found a place in New Hampshire law. You can sign in using this online form: February 10, House Judiciary, HB 233.

HB 233 may be the definitive way of determining just how much difference the 2020 election made.

Flashback to 2020

A similar bill was killed in the House last year on an Inexpedient to Legislate motion, 177-131. The Judiciary Committee – many of whose members are back on the committee this year – made the ITL recommendation along party lines.

I took video of then-Chair Marjorie Smith reading her statement opposing that year’s born-alive bill. She claimed there’s “no such thing” as abortions being done until birth, in spite of testimony to the contrary. She denied that New Hampshire law allows abortion until birth, which is like denying that the sun rises in the east: you can say it if it makes you feel better, but know that you’re denying reality.

It’ll be interesting to see how closely this year’s committee hearing and subsequent vote hew to last year’s pattern.

The Senate took a crack at its own born-alive bill in 2020. Result: tabled, on a party-line vote.

Zoom hearing link, and other bills on agenda

All of House Judiciary’s hearings on Wednesday, February 10 are being held via Zoom at this link:

HB 233, the born-alive bill, will have its hearing at 1 p.m. Earlier, at 9 a.m., the committee will hold a hearing on two bills at once, both on taxpayer funding of abortion: HB 434 and HB 596.

HB 434: the No Public Funds for Abortion Act, with exceptions for “abortion performed when the life of the mother is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.” 

HB 596-FN: the Life Appropriation Act, bars state funding of “convenience” abortions, including funding to agencies that perform such abortions, even if potential funding is for a non-abortion purpose. The bill would also establish a Foster Care and Adoption Initiative Fund.

For your information: Abortion Survivors Network

Whatever the outcome of New Hampshire’s born-alive bill, no matter what’s happening politically, abortion survivors are finding their voices. Each one is living defiance of the “no such thing” claim. Check out the Abortion Survivors Network, and read the stories from survivors.

Header image by Pexels.

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