House Republicans block abortion rights amendment, Dems defeat 15 day abortion ban

Supporters of a state constituional amendment to proect abortion access packed the State House this week as Republicans in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday blocked a proposed bill that would have provided those protections for abortion rights in the state. New Hampshire is the only state in New England where such abortion rights are not enshrined in state law. (Colin Booth/Granite Post)

Supporters of a state costituional amendmetn to proect abortion access packed the State House this week as Republicans in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday blocked a proposed bill that would have provided those protections for abortion rights in the state. New Hampshire is the only state in New England where such abortion rights are not enshrined in state law.

By Colin Booth

February 2, 2024

Republicans in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday blocked a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have created proactive protections for abortion rights in the state.  .

New Hampshire is the only state in New England where such abortion rights are not enshrined in state law. The current law bans most abortions after 24 weeks, only providing exceptions if the health of the mother is at risk or in cases of a fatal fetal diagnosis.

The bill received a 193-184 Ought to Pass vote, which fell short of the 60% majority needed to move forward.

Separately, House Democrats and a handful of  Republicans joined together to defeat both the 15-day and 15-week abortion bans that were proposed by House Republicans

Democrats in the House celebrated the defeat of the abortion bills, and were careful to acknoweldge Republicans willingness to vote against the more restrictive bans was due to 2024 being an election.

“NH House Republicans clearly want to run away from their radical 15-day and 15-week abortion bans. However, 96% of their caucus refused to support CACR 23, a constitutional amendment that would have stopped these kinds of extreme bills from becoming law in the future,” said Rep. Laura Telerski, chair of the Democratic Victory Campaign Committee, the organization charged with electing House Democrats.

In a statement following the vote, Republican House Majority Leader Rep. Jason Osborne  insisted that allowing the kinds of abortion protections present in many other states was an extreme position itself.

“While it is easy for extremist Democrats to use heated rhetoric to try to advance their agenda, the fact of the matter is that public opinion is not on their side,” Osborne said. 

RELATED: NH Senate Dems introduce bills to strengthen abortion rights

In New Hampshire, a recent poll found that 87% of Granite Staters support reproductive freedom, and 64% want their leaders to protect or expand abortion access.

Democratic candidates for governor, Joyce Craig and Cinde Warmington, both released statements condemning the vote against the constitutional amendment to protect abortion access, but Republican candidates for Governor were silent.

The two Republicans running for governor this year both have staunchly anti-abortion records. While serving in the US Senate, Kelly Ayotte supported a national abortion ban and helped Donald Trump cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade

Her primary opponent, former State Senator Chuck Morse, crafted New Hampshire’s current abortion ban and voted against adding exceptions for rape and incest to the bill. He also attended a recent March for Life rally hosted by the extremist anti-abortion group, New Hampshire Right for Life.

This is just the most recent attack on abortion rights in the state, as earlier this week New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella revealed he declined to sign onto an amicus brief supporting access to the abortion medication mifepristone ahead of a Supreme Court review.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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