House votes to gut Fetal Life Protection Act

The New Hampshire House has passed HB 224 on a 205-178 roll call, sending to the Senate a bill stripping penalties from the Fetal Life Protection Act and thus rendering FLPA useless. Governor Sununu has indicated he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

The Senate hasn’t scheduled a hearing on HB 224 yet, but that doesn’t matter: contact your senator now. The Senate must stop HB 224 so it never reaches the Governor’s desk.

We have a governor who wants to be able to say he signed New Hampshire’s first abortion rollback in a quarter century – hey, look at me! I’m moderate, not an extremist! – while also rendering that rollback unenforceable. Unregulated induced abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy would once again be state policy, if the governor were to sign HB 224, or even if he were to let the bill become law without his signature. He would be able to tout “moderation” in appearance while being an abortion extremist in practice.

That asinine political gamesmanship will only be called off if the Senate kills HB 224.

The House roll call on the vote is at this link (go to left side of that web page and click under “House roll calls”). Motion was “ought to pass,” so a “yea” vote was a vote to remove penalties from FLPA. All the Democrats present voted Yea, while 16 Republicans joined them. And by the way, the chief sponsor of HB 224 was a Republican.

Repeat after me: pro-life is not spelled G-O-P. Every single senator, regardless of party, needs to hear from constituents on this. The governor is enormously influential with his fellow Republicans. Those Republicans need to be reminded whom they were elected to serve.

There will be a Senate hearing on HB 224 at some point. I’ll report once that’s on the schedule. That will be a good day to take off work, bring the kids, carpool with your friends, tell your pro-life friends in neighboring states what’s going on, and show up for however long it takes to look those five Senate committee members in the eye and tell them you are NOT okay with HB 224.

For its encore, House voted to declare abortion “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals”

HB 88, the counterpart to SB 181 recently killed by the Senate, was passed by the House today, 199-185. That one was on a division vote, not a roll call, so no rep’s name is associated with a vote. HB 88, titled “relative to reproductive rights,” would prohibit abortion regulations other than the ones already on the books. Right now, FLPA is on the books, with a 24-week abortion limit. If the governor signs HB 224 removing penalties from FLPA, nothing will prevent the performance of abortion at any point in pregnancy. HB 88 calls abortion “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals,” in case there’s any doubt about the extremism behind the bill.

Ah, but the Senate will kill it, you might be thinking. I do not share such optimism. The Senate killed SB 181, but HB 88 gives the abortion advocates another bite at the apple. If only three senators flip their votes, HB 88 will pass.

Outright repeal of FLPA, HB 271, failed today on a tie vote and was then tabled. (Yes, it was that close.) The threatened constitutional amendment, CACR 2, didn’t come close to the 60% support it needed. As I write this, it’s midday and the House still has its afternoon session ahead, with more votes to come. I’ll edit this post as needed.

Links to roll calls and vote information

The General Court website is the source for this information. I’ve listed the two bills featured in this post first, followed by the rest of the life-issue bills I’ve reported on so far this session. Each bill has its own information page on the General Court website; to find out who voted how, look at the left side of the bill’s page and click underneath “House Roll Calls.” Note that for division and voice votes, there are no names associated with the votes and therefore there’s no roll call.

HB 224, to repeal penalties on late-term-abortion providers under the Fetal Life Protection Act (FLPA), : the vote was 205-178 on an “Ought to Pass” motion. A Yea vote was a vote to expand abortion by making FLPA unenforceable.

HB 88, as described above, was killed via division vote rather than a roll call. Representatives thus avoided being held accountable for their votes on this bill.

CACR 2, a constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion in the state constitution: the vote was 193-191 on an “Ought to Pass” motion, which is short of the 60% required for a constitutional amendment to pass the House. A Yea vote was a vote to make abortion constitutionally protected.

HB 271, to repeal FLPA altogether: the bill was tabled on a voice vote after an “Ought to Pass” motion was defeated on a tie vote, 192-192. A Yea on the “Ought to Pass” motion was a vote to repeal New Hampshire’s 24-week abortion limitation and thus keep abortion unregulated throughout pregnancy.

HB 582, abortion statistics, was killed on a division vote: 205-177 on an “Inexpedient to Legislate” motion.

HB 591, a “heartbeat bill: prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, was defeated on a 271-110 vote on an “Inexpedient to Legislate” motion.

HB 615, requiring independent audits of “reproductive health facilities” to ensure that no public funds are used for abortion, was tabled on a division vote, 354-29, effectively killing the bill.

The following bills were killed on voice votes (no roll call, no count) on “Inexpedient to Legislate” motions: HB 346, a born-alive infant protection bill, and HB 562, informed consent for abortion;

Fetal Life Protection Act in jeopardy as House votes this week on life-issue bills

This information was emailed earlier today to subscribers to the Leaven for the Loaf newsletter.

Nine bills that Leaven for the Loaf  has been following this legislative session will be voted on during a two-day New Hampshire House session on Wednesday, March 22, and Thursday, March 23.

These bills are not coming to the House floor with favorable committee recommendations. For most reps, all they will know about these bills will be what they read in the House calendar. That means it’s up to pro-life voters to reach out to their representatives and ask for good votes.

In my opinion, the most dangerous bill is HB 224, amending the Fetal Life Protection Act (FLPA) to remove penalties on providers doing illegal post-24-week abortions. If you have time for only one message to your state representative, make it this one: vote “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) on HB 224.

Republicans need to hear this just as much as Democrats do. Removing penalties from FLPA will render it unenforceable. Removing penalties from FLPA will return New Hampshire to being a place where abortion is legal throughout pregnancy for any reason. HB 224 needs to be ITL’d.

Look up your representatives’ contact information here.

Don’t just ask for a “yea” or “nay” vote

When a bill comes up for a vote in the New Hampshire House or Senate, the motion might be “ought to pass (OTP),” “inexpedient to legislate (ITL),” or “table,” to mention a few possibilities. Telling a representative to vote “no,” without knowing what the motion will be, is therefore insufficient. 

Instead, be specific about the motion you’re asking for. On HB 224, repealing penalties from FLPA, I’ll be asking for an ITL vote. 

The other featured life-issue bills

Three bills in addition to HB 224 were introduced by abortion advocates, and these three deserve “inexpedient to legislate” votes.

  • CACR 2, a proposed amendment to the state constitution “relative to reproductive freedom,” a euphemism to enshrine abortion in the New Hampshire constitution.
  • HB 88, declaring abortion “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals.” 
  • HB 271-FN, repealing the Fetal Life Protection Act altogether.

Five other bills are much friendlier to women’s health and the right to life.

  • HB 346-FN, relative to the right of any infant born alive – including children who survive attempted abortion – to appropriate medical care and treatment.
  • HB 562-FN, informed consent for abortion.
  • HB 582-FN, requiring the state’s Division of Vital Records to collect abortion statistics; support WITH amendment # 2023-0392h (committee minority report).
  • HB 591-FN, prohibiting abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat.
  • HB 615-FN, requiring independent audits of “reproductive health care facilities” to ensure that public funds are not used directly for abortion.

Life-issue bills are headed for NH House; Senate defeats pro-abortion bill

The New Hampshire Senate on March 9 killed a bill to declare abortion  “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals.” SB 181 died when the Senate voted 14-10 to support an “inexpedient to legislate motion.” The vote was along party lines, with all ten Democrats in the minority. The same ten senators had co-sponsored the measure.

Now is a good time to thank your senator, if she or he is one of the fourteen Republicans. Their votes killed SB 181.

Other bills heading to the House floor; watch out for HB 224

If you don’t have time to read any further, at least read this: tell your state representatives to vote inexpedient to legislate on HB 224-FN, repealing penalties from the Fetal Life Protection Act (FLPA). Find your representatives’ contact information on the General Court website.

On the House side, nine life-issue bills await action. The full House, coming up against its “crossover” deadline, will meet in at least three sessions between March 16 and 23 to consider committee recommendations.

The Judiciary Committee tied 10-10 on four bills proposed by abortion advocates, meaning those bills will go the full House without a recommendation. The committee voted to recommend “inexpedient to legislate” on three bills with pro-life sponsors. (See descriptions of all these bills in this blog’s February 25 post.) Those bills are not on the calendar for the March 16 House session, so they will not come up for a vote until the following week.

That gives you time to reach out to your state representatives. The recent Senate vote tells me that sweeping pro-abortion measures, even if passed by the House, won’t make it past the Senate. Abortion-friendly measures masquerading as “moderate,” however, pose a much bigger threat. That means representatives need to hear loud and clear to vote inexpedient to legislate on HB 224-FN, which would repeal penalties from the Fetal Life Protection Act. Those penalties – civil, not criminal – apply to abortion providers who illegally perform abortions post-24-weeks. Without the penalties, the Fetal Life Protection Act becomes unenforceable.

I won’t buy any excuses from a representative – or a governor, for that matter – who supports gutting FLPA now after supporting it when it passed in 2021. A vote to pass HB 224 will be a vote to return New Hampshire to keeping abortion effectively legal through all nine months of pregnancy.

The same batch of bills coming out of Judiciary includes, among other things, a born-alive infant protection act (HB 346-FN) and and outright repeal of FLPA (HB 271-FN).

Don’t forget the HHSEA stats and audit bills

I’m still waiting to hear what the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs (HHSEA) committee will do on two other bills, covered on this blog in January. HB 582-FN is an abortion statistics bill, and HB 615-FN calls for audits of reproductive health facilities to ensure that public funds are not being directly used for abortion. Both bills deserve support.

All committee recommendations must go to the full House shortly, so the House will vote on both of those bills soon. They are not on the March 16 House calendar.

A brief update on my blogs and newsletters

Many of this blog’s readers already subscribe to the Leaven for the Loaf email newsletter (thank you!), which usually features short-notice calls to action regarding New Hampshire life-issue legislation.

I’m inviting you to subscribe to my “author” newsletter as well, and here’s why.

As you may know, I have multiple blogs on different subjects. For a long time, I’ve kept them siloed. What if my pro-life readers don’t care about my hiking, or my hiking readers don’t care about my Catholic stuff, and what if somebody gets turned off altogether??

That rumbling sound you hear comes from silos being dismantled.

Leaven for the Loaf will keep on being what it is, and its associated newsletter will continue through the legislative session. We’ve cultivated some roots here. This is one of many writing projects, though, and I welcome readers to all of them.

I know that branding and marketing are supposed to be coherent and targeted. Well, here’s my brand: Catholic pro-life hiking Granite State writer who can’t be trusted around chocolate. I’m still trying to figure out how to fit that on a business card.

I’d like for my monthly newsletter to earn a place in your inbox. Each brief issue will contain a sampler of recent posts from across my blogs, previews of upcoming projects, links to good writing I’ve found from other authors, and any updates on events I’ll be attending where I look forward to meeting readers and learning new things. Photos from hikes, too, so you can join me virtually on our state’s amazing trails.

With humble thanks for your support of Leaven, I invite you to take a look at my new enterprise as well. Click the button below to subscribe.

And now we return to our regular programming. More on current legislation soon.

Updated through Feb. 25: votes scheduled on life-issue bills

New Hampshire senators have postponed a vote on a pro-abortion measure to March 9. In the other legislative chamber, the House Judiciary committee will vote on seven life-issue bills a day earlier, on Wednesday, March 8.


The full state Senate will vote on SB 181-FN on March 9 during a session beginning at 10 a.m. What you can do: contact your senator, if you haven’t done so already. Contact information for each senator is on the “Who’s My Senator?” page on the Senate website. All ten Democratic senators are co-sponsoring the bill to declare that abortion is “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals.” Even if your senator is one of those ten, send a brief, clear, courteous message anyway: please support the Senate Judiciary Committee’s recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate” on SB 181-FN. Never let them say they didn’t hear from you.

Earlier coverage of the bill is in this blog’s January 31 post.

As with all Senate sessions, this one will be open to the public and will be live-streamed. There is no telling what time SB 181-FN will come up, with several dozen bills scheduled for votes the same day.

House Judiciary Committee

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on seven life-issue bills on March 8. What you can do: email the Judiciary Committee, especially if you didn’t sign in online or attend the original hearings. Emails to the committee can be sent to That address will reach all committee members.

I covered each of these bills in “Avalanche of hearings on House life-issue bills” earlier this month. In brief, four bills were introduced by abortion-friendly legislators, and three were introduced by legislators with pro-life records.

  • CACR 2, a proposed amendment to the state constitution “relative to reproductive freedom,” a euphemism to enshrine abortion in the New Hampshire constitution.
  • HB 88, the House version of SB 181, declaring abortion “vital to the equality and liberty of all individuals.”
  • HB 224-FN, repealing the penalties prescribed in the Fetal Life Protection Act.
  • HB 271-FN, repealing the Fetal Life Protection Act altogether.
  • HB 346-FN, relative to the right of any infant born alive – including children who survive attempted abortion – to appropriate medical care and treatment.
  • HB 562-FN, informed consent for abortion.
  • HB 591-FN, prohibiting abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat.

The committee session is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on March 8 and may run for several hours. The session is open to the public in the committee’s room in the Legislative Office Building, and the session will be live-streamed.