House votes down born-alive protection bill

The New Hampshire House has defeated HB 1675-FN, a bill to provide enforceable protection for children born alive following attempted abortion. The vote was 177-131 on an “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) motion.

The official record of the vote is at this site.

A YEA vote on that official record (remember, the motion was “inexpedient to legislate”) is a vote to kill the born-alive bill. Below is the full roll call, divided by county and town.

The vote was mostly along party lines, with most Democrats opposing the bill. The exceptions – the three Democrats who did not support “inexpedient to legislate” – were Reps. Nancy Murphy (D-Merrimack), Alan Turcotte (D-Allenstown), and Mark Vallone (D-Epping).

Three Republicans joined the majority in rejecting the bill by supporting the ITL motion: Dennis Acton and Josh Yokela of Fremont, and Dan Wolf of Newbury.

Prime sponsor Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien (R-Derry) welcomed to the visitors’ gallery Paula Page, an abortion survivor and New Hampshire resident, who was present for the vote. Speaking in favor of HB 1675, and against the ITL motion, were Reps. Prudhomme-O’Brien, Daryl Abbas (R-Salem), Dee Jurius (R-Meredith), Abigail Rooney (R-Milton), and Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack).

Speaking in favor of the ITL motion, and against the bill, was Rep. Marjorie Smith (D-Durham), restating the arguments she made in committee.

The Roll Call

The New Hampshire General Court website provides a page where you can look up your representatives and their contact information. Saying thank you to the reps who opposed the ITL motion is certainly in order. 

Note that you may be represented in two districts due to “floterial” districts, which combine several areas in order to achieve proportional representation. For example, a resident of Freedom in Carroll County would be represented by state representatives in county district 3 AND district 7.

Voting in favor of the “inexpedient to legislate” motion, therefore killing HB 1675 (177 votes)

All are Democrats except where noted by (r). Towns listed in parentheses.


  • District 3 (Laconia, all wards): David Huot


  • District 1 (Bartlett, Hart’s Location, Jackson): Anita Burroughs
  • District 2 (Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Hale’s Location): Harrison Kanzler, Stephen Woodcock
  • District 3 (Albany, Freedom, Madison, Tamworth): Jerry Knirk, Susan Ticehurst 
  • District 6 (Wolfeboro): Edith DesMarais
  • District 7 floterial (Albany, Bartlett, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Freedom, Hale’s Location, Hart’s Location, Jackson, Madison, Tamworth): Edward Butler


  • District 1 (Chesterfield, Hinsdale, Walpole, Westmoreland): Michael Abbott, Paul Berch, Cathryn Harvey, Lucy Weber
  • District 5 (Keene ward 2): John Bordenet
  • District 6 (Keene ward 3): David Meader
  • District 7 (Keene ward 4): Sparky Von Plinsky
  • District 8 (Keene ward 5): Donovan Fenton
  • District 9 (Dublin, Harrisville, Jaffrey, Roxbury): Richard Ames, Douglas Ley
  • District 10 (Marlborough, Troy): Sandy Swinburne
  • District 12 (Richmond, Swanzey): Barry Faulkner, Jennie Gomarlo
  • District 13 (Winchester): Henry Parkhurst
  • District 16 floterial (Keene, all wards): William Pearson


  • District 2 (Dummer, Milan, Northumberland, Stark): Wayne Moynihan
  • District 3 (Berlin): Larry Laflamme, Henry Noel, Yvonne Thomas
  • District 5 (Carroll, Jefferson, Randolph, Whitefield): Edith Tucker


  • District 2 (Franconia, Lisbon, Lyman, Monroe, Sugar Hill): Timothy Egan
  • District 3 (Bath, Benton, Easton, Landaff, Orford, Piermont, Warren): Susan Ford
  • District 5 (Lincoln, Livermore, Waterville Valley, Woodstock): Jerry Stringham
  • District 6 (Ellsworth, Groton, Orange, Rumney, Thornton): Kevin Maes
  • District 7 (Campton): Richard Osborne
  • District 8 (Hebron, Holderness, Plymouth): Sallie Fellows, Suzanne Smith, Joyce Weston
  • District 10 (Enfield): Roger Dontonville
  • District 11 (Canaan, Dorchester, Wentworth): Timothy Josephson
  • District 12 (Hanover, Lyme): Polly Campion, Mary Jane Mulligan, Sharon Nordgren
  • District 13 (Lebanon, all wards): Richard Abel, Susan Almy, Laurel Stavis, George Sykes
  • District 15 floterial (Bath, Benton, Easton, Haverhill, Landaff, Orford, Piermont, Warren): Dennis Ruprecht
  • District 17 floterial (Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Enfield, Grafton): Joshua Adjutant


  • District 1 (Antrim, Hillsborough, Windsor): Marjorie Porter
  • District 3 (Bennington, Greenfield, Hancock): Daniel Pickering
  • District 4 (Francestown, Greenville, Lyndeboro, Wilton): Jennifer Bernet, Kermit Williams
  • District 5 (Mont Vernon, New Boston): David Woodbury
  • District 6 (Goffstown): Cole Riel
  • District 7 (Bedford): Sue Mullen
  • District 8 (Manchester ward 1): Jeffrey Goley, Diane Langley
  • District 9 (Manchester ward 2):Israel Piedra
  • District 10 (Manchester ward 3): Patrick Long
  • District 11 (Manchester ward 4): Donald Bouchard, Nicole Klein-Knight
  • District 12 (Manchester ward 5): Amanda Bouldin, Andrew Bouldin
  • District 13 (Manchester ward 6): Kathy Desjardin
  • District 14 (Manchester ward 7): Mary Freitas, Mary Heath
  • District 15 (Manchester ward 8): Erika Connors
  • District 16 (Manchester ward 9): Barbara Shaw
  • District 17 (Manchester ward 10): Heidi Hamer, Timothy Smith
  • District 18 (Manchester ward 11): Patricia Cornell, Willis Griffith
  • District 19 (Manchester ward 12): Robert Backus
  • District 21 (Merrimack): Kathryn Stack
  • District 22 (Amherst): Megan Murray
  • District 23 (Milford): Paul Dargie, Joelle Martin, Peter Petrigno
  • District 26 (Brookline, Mason): Brett Hall
  • District 27 (Hollis): Michelle St. John
  • District 28 (Nashua ward 1): William Bordy, Bruce Cohen, Janice Schmidt
  • District 29 (Nashua ward 2): Paul Bergeron, Ray Newman, Sue Newman
  • District 30 (Nashua ward 3): Patricia Klee, Suzanne Vail
  • District 31 (Nashua ward 4): Fred Davis, Manny Espitia
  • District 32 (Nashua ward 5): Allison Nutting-Wong, Michael Pederson
  • District 33 (Nashua ward 6): Mark King, Frances Nutter-Upham
  • District 34 (Nashua ward 7): Catherine Sofikitis, Deb Stevens
  • District 35 (Nashua ward 8): Skip Cleaver, Latha Mangipudi, Laura Telerski
  • District 36 (Nashua ward 9): Martin Jack, Michael O’Brien
  • District 38 floterial (Antrim, Bennington, Francestown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Hillsborough, Lyndeborough, Wilton, Windsor): Chris Balch, James Bosman
  • District 42 floterial (Manchester wards 1-3): Matthew Wilhelm
  • District 43 floterial (Manchester wards 4-7): Christopher Herbert
  • District 45 floterial (Manchester wards 10-12): Constance Van Houten


  • District 1 (Andover, Danbury, Salisbury): Kenneth Wells
  • District 4 (Sutton, Wilmot): Thomas Schamberg
  • District 5 (New London, Newbury): Karen Ebel, Dan Wolf (r)
  • District 6 (Bradford, Henniker): Roderick Pimentel
  • District 7 (Warner, Webster): Clyde Carson
  • District 9 (Canterbury, Loudon): Howard Moffett, George Saunderson
  • District 10 (Concord ward 5, Hopkinton): David Luneau, Mel Myler, Mary Jane Wallner
  • District 12 (Concord ward 2): Connie Lane
  • District 13 (Concord ward 3): Beth Richards
  • District 14 (Concord ward 4): James MacKay
  • District 15 (Concord ward 6): Ryan Buchanan
  • District 16 (Concord ward 7): Timothy Soucy
  • District 18 (Concord ward 9): Kristina Schultz
  • District 19 (Concord ward 10): Christy Bartlett
  • District 20 (Chichester, Pembroke): David Doherty, Dianne Schuett
  • District 23 (Bow, Dunbarton): Samantha Fox, Mary Beth Walz, Gary Woods
  • District 25 floterial (Andover, Danbury, Salisbury, Warner, Webster): David Karrick
  • District 27 floterial (Concord wards 1-3, 4-7): Arthur Ellison, Rebecca McWilliams
  • District 28 floterial (Concord wards 8-10): Katherine Rogers


  • District 10 (Fremont): Dennis Acton (r)
  • District 11 (Brentwood): Liz McConnell
  • District 17 (Newfields, Newmarket): Michael Cahill, Charlotte DiLorenzo
  • District 18 (Exeter): Skip Berrien, Gaby Grossman 
  • District 19 (Stratham): Debra Altschiller
  • District 21 (Hampton): Patricia Bushway, Renny Cushing, Michael Edgar, Tom Loughman
  • District 22 (North Hampton): Jim Maggiore
  • District 23 (Greenland, Newington): Dennis Malloy
  • District 24 (New Castle, Rye): Jaci Grote, Kate Murray
  • District 27 (Portsmouth ward 3): Peter Somssich
  • District 28 (Portsmouth ward 4): Gerald Ward
  • District 29 (Portsmouth ward 5): David Meuse
  • District 31 floterial (Greenland, Newington, North Hampton, Portsmouth ward 3): Tamara Le
  • District 33 floterial (Brentwood, Danville, Fremont): Josh Yokela (r)
  • District 36 floterial (Exeter, Newfields, Newmarket, Stratham): Patricia Lovejoy


  • District 4 (Barrington): Cassandra Levesque, Matthew Towne
  • District 5 (Lee): Jeffrey Salloway
  • District 6 (Durham, Madbury): Timothy Horrigan, Cam Kenney, Marjorie Smith, Janet Wall 
  • District 7 (Rochester ward 1): Timothy Fontneau
  • District 8 (Rochester ward 6): Donna Ellis
  • District 11 (Rochester ward 4): Chuck Grassie
  • District 14 (Dover ward 2): Kristina Fargo
  • District 15 (Dover ward 3): Linn Opderbecke
  • District 17 (Dover wards 5-6, Somersworth ward 2): Peter Bixby
  • District 18 (Rollinsford, Somersworth wards 1, 3, 4, 5): Gerri Cannon, Wendy Chase, Cecilia Rich
  • District 19 floterial (Dover wards 1-2): Peter Schmidt
  • District 20 floterial (Dover wards 3-4): Thomas Southworth
  • District 23 floterial (Rochester wards 2-3): Sandra Keans


  • District 1 (Cornish, Grantham, Plainfield, Springfield): Brian Sullivan
  • District 3 (Claremont ward 1): Andrew O’Hearne 
  • District 4 (Claremont ward 2): Gary Merchant 
  • District 9 floterial (Cornish, Croydon, Grantham, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity): Linda Tanner
  • District 10 floterial (Claremont wards 1-3): John Cloutier

Voting against the “inexpedient to legislate” motion, HB 1675 (131 votes)

All are Republican except where noted by (d). Towns are in parentheses.


  • District 2 (Gilford, Meredith): Harry Bean, Deanna Jurius, Jonathan Mackie
  • District 3 (Laconia wards 1-6): Richard Beaudoin, Peter Spanos, Franklin Tilton
  • District 4 (Sanbornton, Tilton): Dennis Fields, Timothy Lang
  • District 6 (Belmont): Michael Sylvia
  • District 8 floterial (Alton, Barnstead, Gilmanton): Raymond Howard


  • District 5 (Brookfield, Effingham, Ossipee, Wakefield): Lino Avellani, Ed Comeau
  • District 6 (Wolfeboro): John MacDonald
  • District 8 floterial (Brookfield, Effingham, Moultonborough, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tuftonboro, Wakefield): William Marsh


  • District 11 (Fitzwilliam, Rindge): John O’Day


  • District 1 (Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Dixville, Errol, Millsfield, Pittsburg, Stewartstown, Stratford, + 7 other incorporated areas): Michael Furbush
  • District 4 (Dalton, Kilkenny, Lancaster): Kevin Craig
  • District 7 floterial (Carroll, Dalton, Dummer, Jefferson, Kilkenny, Lancaster, Milan, Northumberland including Groveton, Randolph, Stark, Whitefield): Troy Merner


  • District 1 (Bethlehem, Littleton): Erin Hennessey
  • District 4 (Haverhill): Rick Ladd
  • District 9 ( Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Grafton): Edward Gordon, Vincent Paul Migliore


  • District 2 (Deering, Weare): Keith Erf, Gary Hopper, JP Marzullo
  • District 6 (Goffstown): Joe Alexander, Barbara Griffin, Michael Gunski, Fred Plett
  • District 7 (Bedford): Linda Camarota, David Danielson
  • District 13 (Manchester ward 6): Larry Gagne
  • District 19 (Manchester ward 2): Kendall Snow 
  • District 20 (Litchfield): Ralph Boehm, Richard Lascelles
  • District 21 (Merrimack): Richard Barry, Richard Hinch, Robert L’Heureux, Nancy Murphy (d), Jeanine Notter
  • District 22 (Amherst): Reed Panasiti
  • District 25 (New Ipswich, Sharon, Temple): Paul Somero
  • District 26 (Brookline, Mason): Jack Flanagan
  • District 37 (Hudson, Pelham): Bob Greene, Tony Lekas, Hershel Nunez, Lynne Ober, Andrew Prout, Andrew Renzullo, Kimberly Rice, Jordan Ulery
  • District 39 floterial (Deering, Goffstown, Weare): John Burt
  • District 44 floterial (Litchfield, Manchester wards 8-9): Mark McLean, Mark Proulx


  • District 2 (Franklin wards 1-2, Hill): Werner Horn, Dave Testerman
  • District 3 (Franklin ward 3, Northfield): Greg Hill 
  • District 20 (Chichester, Pembroke): Brian Seaworth
  • District 21 (Epsom, Pittsfield): James Allard, John Klose
  • District 22 (Allenstown): Alan Turcotte (d)
  • District 24 (Hooksett): Frank Kotowski, Thomas Walsh, Michael Yakubovich
  • District 26 floterial (Boscawen, Canterbury, Franklin ward 3, Loudon, Northfield): Howard Pearl
  • District 29 floterial (Allenstown, Epsom, Pittsfield): Carol McGuire


  • District 2 (Candia, Deerfield, Nottingham): Alan Bershtein, James Spillane, Kevin Verville 
  • District 3 (Raymond): Michael Costable , Kathleen Hoelzel, Kevin Pratt 
  • District 4 (Auburn, Chester, Sandown): Jess Edwards, Jason Osborne, Tony Piemonte, Chris True 
  • District 5 (Londonderry): Al Baldasaro, Tom Dolan, Betsy McKinney, Sherman Packard, Douglas Thomas 
  • District 6 (Derry): Brian Chirichiello, David Love, David Milz, John O’Connor, Stephen Pearson, John Potucek, Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien 
  • District 7 (Windham): Joel Desilets, Mary Griffin, Walter Kołodziej, Charles McMahon 
  • District 8 (Salem): Daryl Abbas, Arthur Barnes, Fred Doucette, Robert Elliott, Betty Gay, John Janigian, John Sytek 
  • District 9 (Epping): Mark Vallone (d), Michael Vose 
  • District 12 (Danville): Scott Wallace
  • District 13 (Hampstead, Kingston): Dennis Green, Joseph Guthrie, David Welch, Kenneth Weyler 
  • District 14 (Atkinson, Plaistow): Debra DeSimone, Robert Harb, Norman Major, Peter Torosian 
  • District 15 (Newton): Charles Melvin
  • District 16 (East Kingston, Kensington, South Hampton): Dan Davis
  • District 19 (Stratham): Patrick Abrami
  • District 20 (Hampton Falls, Seabrook): Aboul Khan 
  • District 32 floterial (Candia, Deerfield, Northwood, Nottingham): Terry Roy 
  • District 34 floterial (Atkinson, Hampstead, Kingston, Plaistow): Mark Pearson
  • District 35 floterial (East Kingston, Kensington, Newton, South Hampton): Deborah Hobson


  • District 1 (Middleton, Milton): Peter Hayward, Abigail Rooney 
  • District 2 (Farmington): James Horgan, Joseph Pitre 
  • District 3 (New Durham, Strafford): Michael Harrington, Kurt Wuelper
  • District 6 (Durham, Madbury): Judith Spang 
  • District 9 (Rochester ward 2): Steven Beaudoin
  • District 24 floterial (Rochester wards 4-5): Mona Perreault 


  • District 2 (Croydon, Sunapee): Gates Lucas 
  • District 5 (Claremont ward 3): Walter Stapleton 
  • District 6 (Newport, Unity): John Callum, Skip Rollins 
  • District 7 (Acworth, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Washington): Judy Aron 
  • District 8 (Charlestown): Tom Laware 
  • District 11 floterial (Acworth, Charlestown, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Washington): Steven Smith

Absent/not voting

Speaker of the House Stephen Shurtleff was presiding and did not vote.


  • District 1 (Center Harbor, New Hampton): Harry Viens
  • District 2 (Gilford, Meredith): Glen Aldrich
  • District 5 (Alton, Gilmanton): George Feeney, Peter Varney 
  • District 6 (Belmont): John Plumer 
  • District 7 (Barnstead): Barbara Comtois
  • District 9 (Belmont, Laconia wards 1-6): Charlie St. Clair


  • District 2 (Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Hale’s Location): Thomas Buco
  • District 4 (Moultonborough, Sandwich, Tuftonboro): Glenn Cordelli, Karel Crawford
  • District 5 (Brookfield, Effingham, Ossipee, Wakefield): Bill Nelson


  • District 2 (Alstead, Marlow, Surry): John Mann
  • District 3 (Gilsum, Nelson, Stoddard, Sullivan): Daniel Eaton
  • District 4 (Keene ward 1): David Morrill
  • District 11 (Fitzwilliam, Rindge): John Hunt
  • District 14 floterial (Dublin, Fitzwilliam, Harrisville, Jaffrey, Rindge, Roxbury): Craig Thompson 
  • District 15 floterial (Marlborough, Richmond, Swanzey, Troy, Winchester): Bruce Tatro 
  • District 16 floterial (Keene wards 1-5): Joe Schapiro


  • District 1: John Fothergill
  • District 6: William Hatch


  • District 1 (Bethlehem, Littleton): Linda Massimilla 
  • District 12 (Hanover, Lyme): Garrett Muscatel 
  • District 14 floterial (Bethlehem, Franconia, Lisbon, Littleton, Lyman, Monroe, Sugar Hill): Elaine French
  • District 16 floterial (Canaan, Dorchester, Ellsworth, Groton, Orange, Rumney, Thornton, Wentworth): Francesca Diggs


  • District 1 (Antrim, Hillsborough, Windsor): Jim Fedolfi
  • District 5 (Mont Vernon, New Boston): Donna Mombourquette 
  • District 7 (Bedford): Linda Gould, John Graham
  • District 9 (Manchester ward 2): Linda DiSilvestro
  • District 10 (Manchester ward 3): Jean Jeudy
  • District 15 (Manchester ward 8): Mark Warden 
  • District 16 (Manchester ward 9): Joshua Query 
  • District 21: Rosemarie Rung, Wendy Thomas 
  • District 22 (Amherst): Julie Radhakrishnan 
  • District 23 (Milford): Charles Burns
  • District 24 (Peterborough): Peter Leishman, Ivy Vann 
  • District 25 (New Ipswich, Sharon, Temple): Timothy Merlino
  • District 30 (Nashua ward 3): Sherry Dutzy
  • District 31 (Nashua ward 4): David Cote
  • District 32 (Nashua ward 5): Dan Toomey 
  • District 33 (Nashua ward 6): Kenneth Gidge
  • District 34 (Nashua ward 7): Greg Indruk 
  • District 36 (Nashua ward 9): Linda Harriott-Gathright 
  • District 37 (Hudson, Pelham): Alicia Lekas, Russell Ober, James Whittemore 
  • District 40 floterial (Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Boston): Kat McGhee
  • District 41 floterial (Amherst, Bedford): Laurie Sanborn 
  • District 42 floterial (Manchester wards 1-3): Jacqueline Chretien
  • District 43 floterial (Manchester wards 4-7): Benjamin Baroody, Richard Komi
  • District 45 floterial (Manchester wards 10-12): Jane Beaulieu


  • District 3 (Franklin ward 3, Northfield): Joyce Fulweiler
  • District 6 (Bradford, Henniker): Beth Rodd 
  • District 8 (Boscawen): Robert Forsythe
  • District 17 (Concord ward 8): Safiya Wazir 


  • District 1 (Northwood): David Coursin
  • District 4 (Auburn, Chester, Sandown): Becky Owens
  • District 5 (Londonderry): David Lundgren, Anne Warner 
  • District 6 (Derry): Mary Eisner, Phyllis Katsakiores, James Webb 
  • District 8 (Salem): Edward DeClercq, Everett McBride
  • District 17 (Newfields, Newmarket): Ellen Read
  • District 18 (Exeter): Lisa Bunker, Julie Gilman 
  • District 20 (Hampton Falls, Seabrook): Max Abramson, William Fowler
  • District 25 (Portsmouth ward 1): Laura Pantelakos 
  • District 26 (Portsmouth ward 2): Rebecca McBeath
  • District 30 floterial (Portsmouth wards 1-2, 4-5): Jacqueline Cali-Pitts
  • District 37 floterial (Hampton, Hampton Falls, Seabrook): Jason Janvrin


  • District 12 (Rochester ward 5): Mac Kittredge
  • District 13 (Dover ward 1): Casey Conley
  • District 16 (Dover ward 4): Sherry Frost
  • District 17 (Dover wards 5-6, Somersworth ward 2): Susan Treleaven, Kenneth Vincent
  • District 21 floterial (Dover wards 5-6, Rollinsford, Somersworth wards 1-5): Catt Sandler 
  • District 22 floterial (Rochester wards 1 and 6): Peg Higgins
  • District 25 floterial (Barrington, Lee): Amanda Gourgue


  • District 1 (Cornish, Grantham, Plainfield, Springfield): Lee Oxenham

Sens. Shaheen & Hassan Blast Pro-life Bills

New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators have issued a joint statement condemning pending pro-life federal and state legislation. They used the term “extreme anti-choice bills” to refer to bills including born-alive infant protection acts.

Statement from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan

A few thoughts on some of the state-level legislation that has the Senators in a lather:

Shaheen calls infanticide “already illegal,” ignoring the fact that existing New Hampshire born-alive law has no enforcement mechanism. The New Hampshire Senate recently tabled SB 741-FN which would have provided meaningful protection for children who are born alive following attempted abortion. A House committee will vote on a similar bill, HB 1675-FN, on March 4.

Hassan says, “Women in New Hampshire and across the country deserve respect and dignity. They deserve the chance to thrive, and they deserve equality in every way, including by making their own health care choices.”  She does not explain how failing to protect born-alive females is consistent with respecting the dignity of women. Let her ask abortion survivors about “the chance to thrive.”

Both senators use the term “gag rule” to criticize efforts to prevent taxpayer dollars designated for family planning programs from being used to promote or provide abortions.

I conclude that in the eyes of both of New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators, it is extremely “anti-choice” to protect children who survive attempted abortion by imposing penalties on medical professionals who fail to do so.

In the eyes of our Senators, it is “anti-choice” for taxpayers to refuse to fund abortion and subsidize abortion providers.

In the eyes of our Senators, it is “anti-choice” to recognize that abortion is not health care.

In the eyes of our Senators, it is “anti-choice” to tell Planned Parenthood to get its hands out of taxpayer pockets if it wants to continue doing abortions.

In the eyes of our Senators, it is “anti-choice” to advance protective legislation that reflects concern for mother and child.

At least three people have announced their candidacy for the Senate seat currently occupied by Shaheen, up for re-election next November. Let’s see if any of them – and perhaps other potential challengers – know how to push back effectively and persuasively on abortion extremism.

Contact form for Sen. Shaheen

Contact form for Sen. Hassan

And once again, the statement from Sens. Shaheen and Hassan

Big Talk, Then a Whimper: Senate Tables Born-Alive

The New Hampshire Senate has voted 14-10 along party lines to table SB 741-FN, a born-alive infant protection act.

Words vs. Actions

Before the tabling motion was made, Sen. Thomas Sherman (D-Rye) introduced the “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) motion made by the Health and Human Services Committee, of which he is chair. Sen. Sherman called the title of the bill “inflammatory and inaccurate,” said the bill “drives a false narrative,” and added that as a physician “I find this extremely offensive.”

Extremely offended or not, he joined his colleagues a few minutes later in tabling the bill, rather than pressing for a vote on his ITL motion.

Sen. Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead) emphasized that the bill came down to one question: “isn’t a baby who is born alive a person, no matter what the circumstances of their birth?”

Rather than answering the question, Sen. Martha Fuller Clark (D-Portsmouth) responded by moving to table the bill. In parliamentary terms, a tabling motion sets the bill aside, is non-debatable, and takes precedence over an ITL motion. In practical terms, the tabling motion short-circuited further consideration of the bill, and prevented a vote on Sen. Sherman’s ITL motion.

Affirm the right of every newborn to care, regardless of circumstances of birth? Nope.

A constituent of Sen. Cindy Rosenwald forwarded to me an email the senator sent in reply to a plea to support SB 741-FN. “I hope you will be comforted to know that every person who is born is alive and receives full legal protections.” (There’s an extra “and” in there, no doubt due to hasty typing. I know how that goes.) The senator had a chance with SB 741-FN to add enforcement provisions to “legal protections.” She chose not to, joining her colleagues in punting – er, voting to table.

A vote to remove the bill from the table is unlikely.

Roll Call

Voting to table SB 741-FN, all Democrat party, with district number and hometown: Sens. David Watters (4-Dover), Martha Hennessey (5-Hanover), Jeanne Dietsch (9-Peterborough), Jay Kahn (10-Keene), Shannon Chandley (11-Amherst), Melanie Levesque (12-Brookline), Cindy Rosenwald (13-Nashua), Dan Feltes (15-Concord), Kevin Cavanaugh (16-Manchester), Donna Soucy (18-Manchester), Lou D’Allesandro (20-Manchester), Martha Fuller Clark (21-Portsmouth), Jon Morgan (23-Brentwood), Thomas Sherman (24-Rye.)

Voting against the tabling motion, all Republicans with district number and hometown: Sens. David Starr (1-Franconia), Bob Giuda (2-Warren), Jeb Bradley (3-Wolfeboro), James Gray (6-Rochester), Harold French (7-Franklin), Ruth Ward (8-Stoddard), Sharon Carson (14-Londonderry), John Reagan (17-Deerfield), Regina Birdsell (19-Hampstead), Chuck Morse (22-Salem).

House Bill: Awaiting Committee Vote

The House’s version of born-alive legislation, HB 1675, will have a committee vote on March 4.

Surprise! Senate Wants to Rush ITL on Born-Alive Bill

The New Hampshire Senate’s born-alive infant protection bill, SB 741-FN, faces an Inexpedient to Legislate recommendation when the Senate meets on Thursday, February 13. The vote will come only two days after a committee’s ITL vote.

This is a rush job that I would have missed if the bill’s sponsor hadn’t alerted me today. She was surprised, too. The Senate does not normally act on bills within two days of committee action. I don’t care how busy they are; that kind of move doesn’t give the public much of a heads-up.

Action Alert

So don’t bother with letters and postcards. The Senate decided to rush this one. Call your Senator. Senators provide only office numbers on the General Court web site, no personal ones, so I hope their administrative support staff – which amounts to one person for every three Senators or so – is ready to take messages.

Simple message, really: overturn the committee recommendation, and vote Ought to Pass on SB 741, please and thank you. Short, clear, polite.

Here’s the Senate roster, and here’s the “who’s my senator?” link.

Related: my earlier post on this year’s House and Senate bills on born-alive infant protection.

Wanna Watch?

The Senate session begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday, February 13th. SB 741-FN is the third item on the agenda. The session is open to the public, with the gallery entrance on the second floor of the State House.

Note that the Senate gallery is much smaller than the House’s gallery. Access is via a narrow stairway.

The session will be live-streamed as well. Click on the Streaming Media link near the upper right of the General Court home page.

Committee Action

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 3-2 along party lines on February 11 to recommend Inexpedient to Legislate on SB 741-FN. The bill calls for medically appropriate and reasonable care for any child born alive, including children who survive attempted abortion.

Voting Inexpedient to Legislate, recommending that the bill be killed: Democrats Thomas Sherman (District 24, Rye), Martha Fuller Clark (District 21, Portsmouth), and Shannon Chandley (District 11, Amherst).

The Republicans on the committee, both of them co-sponsors of SB 741-FN, voted against the ITL recommendation: Jeb Bradley of Wolfeboro and James Gray of Rochester.

Tale of the Docket

The illustration above is a screenshot from the docket, or official online record of action, for SB 741-FN. Of interest is the last line within the green box, which documents the astoundingly rushed nature of this scheduled Senate vote.

2/11/2020 is the date of the most recent action, the committee vote with its “inexpedient to legislate” report. (The “S” column simply means “Senate.”) Next to that is the date 2/13/2020 and “SC 6A.” That means the Senate will vote on February 13 as recorded in volume 6A of the Senate Calendar.

Two days: make the best of them.

Senate version of born-alive bill hearing February 4

The New Hampshire Senate Health and Human Services Committee will have a public hearing on SB 741-FN, a born-alive infant protection bill, on Tuesday, February 4 at 3:20 p.m. in room 100 of the State House. This is the Senate version of HB 1675-FN, which was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on January 29.

Chief sponsor of SB 741-FN is Sen. Regina Birdsell (R-Hampstead). She is joined by eight Senate co-sponsors and four House co-sponsors.

Unlike most House committees, a Senate committee may vote on a bill immediately after the hearing. For contact information for the senators who will hear SB 741-FN, see the “email entire committee” link on the Senate HHS committee’s information page.

The two bills are not in competition with each other. If the House turns down its version, the Senate might still approve its own – and yes, that’s optimistic, but it’s a way to ensure that the public has at least two chances to call for statutory protection for children who survive attempted abortion. Opposition to infanticide shouldn’t be a tough call.

Thereby hangs a cautionary tale.

White coats at the House hearing

(Corrected 2/3/2020 to show correct surname of ACOG representative.)

What can senators expect to hear on February 4? Consider what happened at the House committee hearing on HB 1675. (I’ll drop the “FN” for the remainder of this post; it means “fiscal note” and has no bearing on the bill’s underlying subject matter.)

The Union Leader’s Kevin Landrigan wrote about “four” abortion bills that had hearings on January 29 – although one of those bills, HB 1675, was about children already born and thus was not an abortion bill. Mr. Landrigan’s story included a photo he took at a press conference held by abortion advocates that day.

abortion press conference
photo by Kevin Landrigan/Union Leader

Tucked in between pink-clad PP supporters and red-clad “handmaidens” were several women in white coats. I learned at the born-alive hearing that they were medical doctors and medical students with coats embroidered with Dartmouth Hitchcock emblems.

The white-coated women drew no distinction among the four bills reported upon by Mr. Landrigan. I was at the born-alive hearing, and I saw they were there to oppose that bill – a bill that would impose upon them a specific duty to care for newborn children who have survived attempted abortion, with penalties for failure to do so.

One of the women in white was identified in the Union Leader story as Dr. Ellen Joyce, chair of the state chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. According my notes from the hearing, she called the born-alive bill “dangerous” and “ill-advised,” said it “seeks to solve a problem that does not exist,” and added that the legislation’s “false claims” tended to undermine the public’s trust in OB/GYNs.

I bit my tongue and forbore telling her that for me, that particular horse left the barn awhile ago. Trust, indeed.

No abortion survivors were present to challenge the “false claims” narrative. Their advocates showed up, though.

“I’m here today for Gianna Jessen.”

The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien (R-Derry), drew the committee’s attention to the text of her bill, calling only for “medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment” for infants who survive abortion. She cited Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen as two survivors. Are there survivors in New Hampshire? “We can’t know that there are not,” she said. New Hampshire doesn’t provide the Centers for Disease Control with any abortion data, including post-abortion complications, and surely a surviving child would be a statistical complication. The sponsor asked that since we don’t know if there are abortion survivors here, why not err on the side of life?

Ohden and Jessen have made it into this blog before. For many years, they have been very open about how they were not-quite aborted. They know that some children are born alive after attempted abortion, because that’s how they were born. Ohden founded the Abortion Survivors’ Network, and now more than 260 people have shared with her their own stories of abortion survival.

Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack) picked up that theme: “I’m here today for Gianna Jessen.” She got the same question as did Rep. Prudhomme-O’Brien: does it happen here? She reminded the committee of what the sponsor had said: we can’t know, under New Hampshire’s current no-stats-to-the-CDC policy. She noted the plethora of animal rights bills being considered by the House this session, and suggested that human babies deserve as much consideration.

Plenty of people testified in favor of the bill, even as various committee members played their favorite card repeatedly: what makes you think this happens in New Hampshire? Toward the end of the hearing, after the ACOG representative had testified, I heard a supporter of the bill cut short by a committee member, who shifted from question to statement: we’ve had medical testimony that this doesn’t happen.

From now on, whenever I hear an abortion advocate saying “trust women,” I’m going to remember the women in white from the hearing on HB 1675. I’ll also remember Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen. The survivors simply have more credibility with me.

Perhaps only meeting survivors in person will ever win over white-coated women who take time away from work and school to argue against a bill to protect newborns who are born despite efforts to abort them. Maybe only a survivor can win over a skeptical legislator.

Until then, I’m glad to know there are legislators willing to be advocates for survivors who can’t be at the State House to plead their own cause.

Born-alive legislation is irrelevant to Roe v. Wade. It addresses a situation that occurs after a woman exercises choice. It does not affect an abortion provider’s rightful duty to care for the woman undergoing an abortion. It’s about infanticide. And still, here in New Hampshire, the prospect of a born-alive law scares some people senseless.

It’s as though some of the people in the hearing room were afraid that care is a zero-sum thing, and that any care given to an abortion-survivor newborn must necessarily mean less care, even contempt, for the woman whose pregnancy has just been terminated.

Anyone ready for a paradigm shift?

Hearings, then votes

The House Judiciary Committee has not yet voted on HB 1675. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee is free to vote on SB 741 immediately after its hearing on February 4, although a delay is possible. Dates for votes in the full House and Senate will be determined after the committees make their recommendations.