Abortion statistics, 2022: House committee takes up HB 1654

I was too late for the hearing, but it’s not too late to email the committee: HB 1654-FN is this year’s version of an abortion statistics bill, and it will soon get a vote in the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs (HHS) Committee.

The text of HB 1654 might or might not win over longtime opponents of stats bills. It provides for confidentiality for patients and providers alike, which has sometimes been a sticking point in earlier stats bills. It calls for reporting of aggregate data, not personally-identifying information.

A brief encouraging email to House HHS is in order, asking for an Ought to Pass recommendation on HB 1654. You can reach all committee members with a single email to HHSEA@leg.state.nh.us.

At least nine bills have been introduced since 2002 calling for New Hampshire to collect abortion statistics. The Centers for Disease Control accepts abortion data from almost every state in order to produce an occasional report on the number of abortions nationwide. New Hampshire is one of very few states that decline to participate.

Sponsors of HB 1654: Reps. Walter Stapleton (R-Claremont), Kurt Wuelper, (R-Strafford), Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack), James Spillane (R-Deerfield), Linda Gould (R-Bedford), and Betty Gay (R-Salem), and Sen. Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead).

2019 was when the last abortion statistics bill failed to pass. One of the members of House HHS who is still on the committee, Rep. Joseph Schapiro (D-Keene), said at that time, “It’s hard for me to separate statistics from a movement to make abortion more restricted.”

Try, sir.

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