Since committee hearings on March 30, the New Hampshire Senate has not yet scheduled votes on bills regarding born-alive protections (HB 233) and a 24-week limit to abortion (HB 625).
GOP Senator calls restriction on eugenic abortion “a bridge too far”
HB 625 met resistance at the March 30 Senate Judiciary hearing from a Republican senator. Sen. William Gannon (R-Sandown) noted that the bill contains no exception for preborn children diagnosed with “severely fatal abnormalities.”
Following testimony in favor of HB 625 by one of its co-sponsors, Sen. Gannon challenged him. “I have a problem – it’s a bridge too far without it for me, sir. You don’t have any exception for severely fatal abnormalities which I think would be cruel to a mother and father in the situation.”
Video of the hearing is on YouTube, with Sen. Gannon’s question at time stamp 2:40:00.
[Update: Please see Sen. Gannon’s response in the comment section at the end of this post.]
A reader has shared with me an email she received several weeks ago from Sen. Gannon regarding the bill, in which the senator stated that only ten GOP senators will accept the bill as passed by the House. In the email, he did not name the senators. The current membership of the Senate is 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
The bill contains an exception for medical emergencies that would threaten the life of the mother or would cause her “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
Diocese: don’t send message that “some lives are less worth living than others”
Robert Dunn, director of the office of public policy for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, sent out a call to action on April 20, urging supporters of HB 625 to contact their senators.
“To summarize [the Diocese’s] position: State law should not send the message that, based on certain characteristics, some lives are less worth living than others. All children have the right to life and to a recognition of their human dignity. If we want society to respect and value the child who is homeless, or the child at the border, or the child without access to health care, or the child with disabilities, then it is essential that society also respect and value the child in the womb as well. Please contact your Senator…to respectfully urge a vote to pass HB 625 without any amendments that would water down the bill.” (Emphasis in the original.)
Cornerstone: watch out for amendments
Cornerstone Action published a commentary on April 27 entitled “Protect the Late-Term Preborn: Don’t Let Amendments Sabotage HB 625.”
While favoring amendments from Sens. Regina Birdsell and Harold French – the texts of which were not part of Cornerstone’s post – the organization warned against other proposals, including an exception for eugenic abortions.
“If HB 625-FN is to pass and fulfill its moderate mission of protecting late-term preborn life in the state, it will need informed and educated support for the original bill and the proposed Birdsell and French amendments. Any other amendments could endanger the bill and its effectiveness.”
(While I am no longer a lobbyist, I formerly represented Cornerstone at the State House.
The next Senate calendar will be published this evening.