The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’s annual Fortnight for Freedom has morphed into a quieter Religious Freedom week. Over at another website, I’ve offered some thoughts about how the week might coincide with the upcoming Dobbs decision by the Supreme Court.
I write as I await the Supreme Court’s decision in the abortion-related Dobbs case, due within days. A draft of the Dobbs opinion hostile to Roe v. Wade was leaked some weeks ago, leaving me pondering just how low we’ve set the bar for being pro-life. Nothing in the draft either states or implies that the Court is ready to recognize the fundamental right to life of all human beings from the moment of conception without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency. The draft, if it holds, dumps the “issue” back to the states. Having spent a few decades making frequent trips to New Hampshire’s State House as a citizen speaking out on the right to life, I know that such a Supreme Court decision would be a lateral move at best.
Even so, the call is clear as I contemplate the likelihood of a Dobbs decision during a week celebrating religious liberty: prayer and action, now and always, wherever the law stands, whether or not our voices are welcomed in the public square.
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Faced with a deadline for vacating its borrowed venue, the New Hampshire House ended crossover day by effectively tabling a number of bills including HB 430, buffer zone repeal.
The House met on April 7, 8, and 9 at NH Sportsplex in Bedford, allowing for seating spaced according to current COVID protocols. Friday the 9th was crossover day, the deadline for all bills originating in the House this year to be disposed of one way or another. Leaders in both parties knew in advance that the Sportsplex needed the House to adjourn by early Friday evening in order to accommodate other users of the facility.
The deadline came, with many bills still unaddressed. Result: in the absence of a vote, the unaddressed bills – including buffer zone repeal – will not advance in 2021.
At this writing, the docket for HB 430 lists its status as “miscellaneous.” That’s one way to put it.
President-elect Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate Xavier Becerra to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Becerra, currently California’s Attorney General, has a curious history when it comes to recognizing the free speech and conscience rights of his pro-life neighbors.
Becerra succeeded Kamala Harris as California AG, after Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate. She is now vice-president-elect.
As Attorney General, Becerra followed Harris’s lead in two cases of particular interest to pro-life Americans.
Continue reading “Pro-lifers, keep an eye on HHS Nominee Becerra”
Here’s a report on SB 486 in Seacoast Online includes this quote from a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman regarding the bill to mandate abortion coverage within any health insurance policy that covers maternity care. Public hearing is February 18 in the Senate Commerce Committee, room 100, at the State House in Concord.
“The Reproductive Health Parity Act builds on the progress New Hampshire has made in recent years to ensure that Granite Staters’ insurance covers the health care they need, including abortion care,” said Sabrina Dunlap, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. “For those facing an unintended pregnancy, or changed circumstances during a planned pregnancy, access to timely, affordable and respectful abortion care is an essential component of reproductive health care. Passage of SB 486 will continue New Hampshire’s long history of protecting the right for patients to make their own health care decisions.”
The New Hampshire House has rejected HB 124, buffer zone repeal. An “inexpedient to legislate” motion passed 228-141.