NEW HAMPSHIRE —Today, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and reproductive rights allies released a plan containing short- and long-term recommendations for protecting and expanding access to safe, legal abortion in the Granite State.
The agenda for the future of abortion access in New Hampshire contains policy, funding, and public affairs roadmaps and comes less than a week after the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and give state politicians permission to control our bodies. In New Hampshire, abortion remains safe and legal until 24 weeks – for now – but work remains to protect the future of access.
Agenda partner organizations include: Lovering Health Center; Equality Health Center; Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire; ACLU NH; Granite State Progress; and New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.
Statement from Liz Canada, Advocacy Manager for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:
“The end of federal constitutional protections for abortion rights reaffirms an urgent need to act to protect the future of abortion access in the Granite State, the only state in New England without proactive protections for abortion on the books. With its proud, bipartisan history of supporting reproductive rights – yet in the shadow of a newly-enacted abortion ban – New Hampshire must commit to, and take proactive steps toward, protecting and expanding access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. Planned Parenthood is proud to partner with a range of advocacy organizations to continue this critical work to protect access, strengthen New Hampshire’s public health care ecosystem, and increase public education.”
Abortion Access in New Hampshire Since 1991 – A Brief Timeline:
- May 19, 1991: New Hampshire becomes the first state in the nation to adopt a resolution urging the FDA to allow clinical trials of medication abortion (then known as RU486) in the state.
- June 3, 1997: Then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen signed SB 34 into law, repealing three pre-Roe anti-abortion laws in New Hampshire.
- SB 34 sponsors: Senator Richard Russman (R); Senator Burt Cohen (D); Senator Beverly Hollingworth (D); Senator Edward (Ned) Gordon (R); Representative Sandra Keans (D); Representative Merle Schotanus (R); Representative Liz Hager (R); Representative Martha Fuller Clark (D); Representative Terie Norelli (D)
- June 19, 2003: Then-Governor Craig Benson signed HB 763 into law, requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion care, which lacked explicit exception to protect the health of the pregnant minor.
- Nov. 30, 2005: Then-Attorney General Kelly Ayotte appealed the decision of the lower courts and argued Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England at the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Jan. 16, 2006: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously, 9-0, affirming the lower court’s decision in favor of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
- June 29, 2007: Then-Governor John Lynch signed HB 184, legislation to repeal the parental notification law that was struck down by the Supreme Court.
- June 22, 2011: The New Hampshire Legislature overrode Governor Lynch’s veto of HB 329, requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortion care.
- Jan. 1, 2012: New Hampshire’s parental notification law took effect – the first abortion restriction enacted since then-Governor Shaheen repealed the pre-Roe anti-abortion laws.
- June 25, 2021: Governor Chris Sununu signed HB 2 into law, which contained a ban on abortion at 24-weeks with no exception for rape, incest, or fatal fetal diagnosis and an ultrasound mandate for all people seeking abortion care, at every stage of pregnancy, regardless of medical necessity.
- Jan. 1, 2022: New Hampshire’s first abortion ban in modern history took effect, prohibiting abortion care at or after 24 weeks with limited exceptions and requiring ultrasounds for all abortion care.
- Spring 2022: – The New Hampshire House and Senate rejected efforts to enshrine abortion rights before 24-weeks in state statute; the Access to Abortion-care Act was filed as HB 1674 and SB 436.
- May 27, 2022: Governor Sununu signed HB 1609 into law, which addresses some of the harm his abortion ban causes by adding a critical exception for fatal fetal diagnoses and repealing the ultrasound mandate.
New Hampshire Abortion Ban:
- In 2021, Governor Sununu signed into law New Hampshire’s first abortion ban in modern history. Effective January 1, 2022, abortions are prohibited at or after 24 weeks. After extensive legislative efforts, there are now exceptions for fatal fetal diagnoses to the abortion ban and the ultrasound mandate for all abortion care has been removed.
- Additionally, this abortion ban criminalizes health care providers with a class B felony which could come with up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $100,000, allows husbands to file civil actions, and allows the patient’s parents to file civil actions.
- There are no other medical procedures in New Hampshire law subject to felony charges and imprisonment for health care professionals.
- According to the Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center in May 2022, 61 percent of Granite Staters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. 88 percent of registered Republicans believe abortion should be legal in all (23 percent) or some (65 percent) circumstances. Only 10 percent of Granite Staters believe that abortion should be illegal.
- Recent UNH Survey Center polling released in February, 2022, shows that New Hampshire overwhelmingly supports Roe v. Wade. Across the state, 65% of Granite Staters want the new Supreme Court Justice to be someone who would vote to uphold Roe v. Wade – including a majority of registered Democrats, registered undeclared, and registered Republican voters. Just 20% of Granite Staters want the next Supreme Court Justice to vote to overturn Roe.
- Polling released in July, 2021 from the UNH Survey Center shows that New Hampshire’s abortion ban is deeply unpopular, with only one-third of Granite Staters in support of it. Nearly half of independent Granite Staters oppose this ban, as do 27 percent of Republicans.
- The truth is, most Granite Staters and most Americans support access to safe, legal abortion. If someone has decided to have an abortion, more than 8 in 10 respondents want the experience to be supportive and nonjudgmental, without added burdens or protesters, affordable and safe.