Dems Seek Special Session to Codify Abortion Rights in N.H.

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House Democratic Leader David Cote, D-Nashua

By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org

CONCORD – House Democrats want Gov. Chris Sununu to call the legislature into special session to codify the protections of Roe V. Wade into state law now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned it.

Sununu’s press office sent an email response to InDepthNH.org saying the governor doesn’t have the unilateral authority to do that and would sign a bill codifying Roe V. Wade into state law if legislators sent him such a bill.

 “As the Governor has long said, if the legislature brings forward a bill codifying Roe v. Wade into state law, he’d sign it,” the email said.

The email also said such an action “would undoubtedly alarm and confuse people into thinking that New Hampshire’s laws are changing — they are not.”

It quoted Sununu saying, “Regardless of this ruling, nothing in New Hampshire law changes — the same services that were legal and accessible two weeks ago are as legal and accessible today.”

House Democratic Leader David E. Cote, D-Nashua, said: “If Governor Sununu is serious about protecting reproductive health care in New Hampshire, he needs to immediately call the legislature into special session to codify the protections of Roe v Wade into state law.”

 The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down the landmark ruling that legalized abortion.

“New Hampshire Republicans restricted abortion for the first time this term and backed bills prohibiting abortion as early as six weeks and allowing biological fathers to block mothers from making their own decision.  New Hampshire Republicans are already plotting new restrictions in the wake of the Dobbs decision,” Cote said.

Cote said House Democrats made numerous attempts to codify abortion protections in state law this year and were blocked in every attempt by the GOP.

“House Republicans even blocked efforts to protect victims of rape and incest from their abortion ban legislation,” Cote said. “If Governor Sununu values reproductive health as he says he does, it is on him to get his party in line and call a special session to make those protections clear in state law,” Cote said.

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