Op-ed: Kelly Ayotte has been and will always be an anti-abortion extremist

In her bid for the governor’s office, recently former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte took to these pages in an attempt to rewrite her long and well-documented record of working to dismantle Granite Staters’ reproductive rights – including attacking IVF – throughout her time in the United States Senate. In that piece, Ayotte claims, “I never voted against access to IVF, nor has my position ever shifted.” That’s simply not true. In 2012, Ayotte voted for the Blunt Amendment, which gave insurers and employers the ability to deny coverage for any kind of care – which could include IVF, birth control, mental health care, you name it – on religious or moral grounds. Those are the facts, and Ayotte can’t dispute that just because her politically unpopular votes are coming back to haunt her now. Ayotte’s excuses fall flat, as trusted experts and credible media outlets across the country reported on the threat posed by the Blunt Amendment at the time, including the Washington Post and NBC News, which highlighted the implications that the Blunt Amendment would have on “any health service” that employers find “objectionable,” which would include contraception, abortion, and yes, IVF. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an anti-abortion extremist organization, urged the Senate to adopt the Blunt Amendment to “protect conscience rights.” The group has advocated for so-called “fetal personhood rights,” which directly threatens access to IVF. Kelly Ayotte sought and earned this group’s endorsement during her failed reelection campaign in 2016. It makes sense considering Ayotte spent her six years in the U.S. Senate greenlighting NRLC’s agenda by pushing for a national abortion ban, attacking protections for contraception coverage, voting to defund Planned Parenthood, and calling for the end of Roe v. Wade more than a decade before the Supreme Court took up the issue and overturned fifty years of precedent. Even after leaving office, Ayotte played a crucial role in the assault on reproductive freedom. After losing her reelection campaign in 2016, Ayotte was “honored” to serve as the “sherpa” for Neil Gorsuch’s SCOTUS nomination — which led to the decimation of abortion rights for millions of people and a hostile, anti-abortion majority on our country’s highest court, impacting generations of Americans to come. But, as she wrote in her op-ed, Ayotte doesn’t want to talk about her past, she wants to look to the future. So let’s talk about what the future of abortion would look like for Granite Staters under her leadership. Ayotte supports our state’s current abortion ban that has no exceptions for rape or incest, includes only a narrow exception for the pregnant person's physical health, and mandates criminal and civil penalties of up to $100,000 for health care providers, claiming she “would not change it.” New Hampshire remains the only state in New England without abortion rights codified into law and will remain that way if Ayotte is our next governor, even though a supermajority of Granite Staters believe that politicians have no place in people’s personal medical decisions. She wants to leave her dangerous and extreme anti-abortion record in the past, but she’s still advocating for policies that strip Granite Staters of their reproductive rights as we speak. The truth is that Kelly Ayotte has been and will always be an anti-abortion extremist, and she will continue to try to push her extreme agenda on Granite Staters who want nothing to do with it. She can write as many op-eds as she’d like and keep trying to rewrite her record all she wants, but Granite Staters, who believe in privacy and the simple freedom to make their own health care decisions without politicians interfering, know the truth about Kelly Ayotte. The future of reproductive rights in New Hampshire is on the ballot this November, and those rights are at risk if Kelly Ayotte becomes our next governor. We can’t let that happen.

By Kayla Montgomery

April 16, 2024

In her bid for the governor’s office, recently former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte took to these pages in an attempt to rewrite her long and well-documented record of working to dismantle Granite Staters’ reproductive rights – including attacking IVF – throughout her time in the United States Senate.

In that piece, Ayotte claims, “I never voted against access to IVF, nor has my position ever shifted.”

That’s simply not true.

In 2012, Ayotte voted for the Blunt Amendment, which gave insurers and employers the ability to deny coverage for any kind of care – which could include IVF, birth control, mental health care, you name it – on religious or moral grounds. Those are the facts, and Ayotte can’t dispute that just because her politically unpopular votes are coming back to haunt her now.

Ayotte’s excuses fall flat, as trusted experts and credible media outlets across the country reported on the threat posed by the Blunt Amendment at the time, including the Washington Post and NBC News, which highlighted the implications that the Blunt Amendment would have on “any health service” that employers find “objectionable,” which would include contraception, abortion, and yes, IVF.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an anti-abortion extremist organization, urged the Senate to adopt the Blunt Amendment to “protect conscience rights.” The group has advocated for so-called “fetal personhood rights,” which directly threatens access to IVF. Kelly Ayotte sought and earned this group’s endorsement during her failed reelection campaign in 2016. It makes sense considering Ayotte spent her six years in the U.S. Senate greenlighting NRLC’s agenda by pushing for a national abortion ban, attacking protections for contraception coverage, voting to defund Planned Parenthood, and calling for the end of Roe v. Wade more than a decade before the Supreme Court took up the issue and overturned fifty years of precedent.

Even after leaving office, Ayotte played a crucial role in the assault on reproductive freedom. After losing her reelection campaign in 2016, Ayotte was “honored” to serve as the “sherpa” for Neil Gorsuch’s SCOTUS nomination — which led to the decimation of abortion rights for millions of people and a hostile, anti-abortion majority on our country’s highest court, impacting generations of Americans to come.

But, as she wrote in her op-ed, Ayotte doesn’t want to talk about her past, she wants to look to the future. So let’s talk about what the future of abortion would look like for Granite Staters under her leadership.

Ayotte supports our state’s current abortion ban that has no exceptions for rape or incest, includes only a narrow exception for the pregnant person’s physical health, and mandates criminal and civil penalties of up to $100,000 for health care providers, claiming she “would not change it.” New Hampshire remains the only state in New England without abortion rights codified into law and will remain that way if Ayotte is our next governor, even though a supermajority of Granite Staters believe that politicians have no place in people’s personal medical decisions. She wants to leave her dangerous and extreme anti-abortion record in the past, but she’s still advocating for policies that strip Granite Staters of their reproductive rights as we speak.

The truth is that Kelly Ayotte has been and will always be an anti-abortion extremist, and she will continue to try to push her extreme agenda on Granite Staters who want nothing to do with it. She can write as many op-eds as she’d like and keep trying to rewrite her record all she wants, but Granite Staters, who believe in privacy and the simple freedom to make their own health care decisions without politicians interfering, know the truth about Kelly Ayotte.

The future of reproductive rights in New Hampshire is on the ballot this November, and those rights are at risk if Kelly Ayotte becomes our next governor. We can’t let that happen.

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CATEGORIES: HEALTHCARE | POLITICS

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