Sununu Unavailable To Meet With North Country Woman Bringing Critical Letter

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Nancy West photo

Lucy Wyman is pictured in front with members of the Kent Street Coalition in front of Gov. Chris Sununu's office at the State House in Concord.


CONCORD – Lucy K. Wyman drove from Lancaster Tuesday to tell Gov. Chris Sununu that some people think he’s talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says he is pro-choice yet signed a budget that includes new restrictions on abortions and was unsuccessful in convincing Executive Council Republicans to fund some family planning clinics.

Flanked by local advocates from the Kent Street Coalition, Wyman brought a letter that is critical of Sununu’s position on reproductive freedom, but found Sununu unavailable to meet with her. State Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, entered Sununu’s office a few minutes before Wyman and the group arrived.

Wyman did meet briefly with Sununu’s policy director Elliot Gault in the governor’s anteroom, and he promised to share the letter with his “team” and when pressed said he would share it with the governor and make sure she gets a response.

“I put out a letter for people to sign, and I was so impressed with the number of people who signed that I decided I didn’t want to just send it through the mail, that I would give it directly to the governor if I could,” Wyman said.

She obtained the signatures on Oct. 2 when a group in Lancaster participated in the nationwide and statewide Women’s March for Reproductive Freedom and mentioned that some of the smudges in the letter were caused by rain that day. More than 100 people signed the letter and some people called Wyman Monday night asking their names be added, she said.

Wyman said she is alarmed by the limits on reproductive freedom in New Hampshire.

“We don’t understand why everyone doesn’t feel that reproductive and family health services are very important,” Wyman said. “It feels like compulsory pregnancy to me.”

A member of the Kent Street Coalition reminded Gault that: “We are his constituents. He is supposed to represent all of us.”

Several members of the Kent Street Coalition told Gault that they had called or mailed Sununu in the past and never got a response.

“It’s so hard to understand why all these men don’t understand that it is to the benefit of their wives and daughters and mothers and their whole families. I don’t comprehend it at all. It continues to baffle many of us,” Wyman said.

The new law bans abortion after 24 weeks with no exceptions for fetal diagnosis, rape or incest, requires medically unnecessary pre-abortion ultrasounds, a felony penalty and fines up to $100,000 for abortion-providing doctors.

Gault said he didn’t know if Sununu was aware Wyman was coming and suggested it would be up to his spokesman Ben Vihstadt to discuss. Vihstadt didn’t respond to an email query Tuesday.

The letter follows:

OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR CHRIS SUNUNU October 2, 2021              Lancaster, NH

RE:  Anti-abortion addenda to the state budget and the September 15 Executive Council vote                                          
It is inconceivable to us that in the year 2021 we must still fight for recognition of women’s self-determination. We cannot understand the failure on the part of our state leaders to grasp the comprehensive nature of women’s health care: reproduction choice and health profoundly impact the entire family, and ultimately, society.

This incredible failure of understanding has been clearly established by your signature on the July state budget which includes invasive and expensive requirements for those choosing abortion, and also the horrific possibility that a woman might be forced to carry a non-viable fetus full term and any doctor fulfilling his Hippocratic oath might be charged with a felony!

We are appalled as well by your complicity with the Executive Council’s irresponsible vote to eliminate 80% of state support which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception and other reproductive health services to women throughout the state. Surely you are aware the more affluent will find the services they need and the radically reduced funding and access to these services will typically affect the low income community the hardest.

As NH residents we sign below to ask that you revisit these unfortunate mandates. Not only has our state always been recognized as supportive of choice but our well-known motto LIVE FREE OR DIE can be construed as ludicrous under the above Draconian measures.

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