New Hampshire House passes abortion expansion bill, rejects bills protecting life

The New Hampshire House — led by Republicans — approved legislation aimed at protecting and expanding abortion in the state, while it also rejected bills that would have protected preborn children from abortion.

In all, according to Seacoastonline, eight abortion-related bills were before the New Hampshire House for a vote on Thursday. Of those, the majority would be considered a pro-abortion victory.

One bill would have repealed the state’s Fetal Life Protection Act (FLPA), which protects children from abortion after 24 weeks, with exceptions. However, the bill was tabled following a 192-192 tie. Though it appeared to be a pro-life win, New Hampshire Right to Life explained that legislators approved HB 224, a bill that would remove the civil and criminal penalties included in the FLPA, which would essentially “legalize abortion through birth.”

“HB224 removes the penalties from the FLPA, making the law unenforceable,” the group said in a press release.

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In addition, the House approved the Access to Abortion Care Act, which would add a right to abortion up to 24 weeks to state law, though the state Senate already rejected a similar bill. The House also failed to pass a bill that would have protected preborn children from abortion once their heartbeat can be detected, typically at about six weeks though a human heart begins to beat about 21 days post-fertilization.

Legislators in the House also failed to pass a bill that would have required abortion survivors to receive medical care, another bill that would have ensured informed consent prior to an abortion, and a bill that would have required a second audit for abortionists regarding how they spend public funding.

The House did, however, hand over one pro-life victory when it rejected a bill that would have asked voters to determine if “reproductive autonomy” should be added to the New Hampshire Constitution. Though the vote was 193-191 in favor of the constitutional amendment to make abortion a state right, it failed to reach the three-fifths majority necessary for the approval of a proposed constitutional amendment.

“It’s clear we still have a lot of work to do to convince our legislators that life should continue to be protected, especially for preborn babies that can survive on their own,” said Jason Hennessey, president of New Hampshire Right to Life. “Rather than offering help to NH mothers and their children, HB224 only offers a child’s death as a solution through risky late term abortions.”

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