May 13, 2013, Philadelphia: Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder, manslaughter, and a couple of hundred lesser offenses. He’s in prison for life. If he were released, he could set up shop in New Hampshire and commit with impunity some of the same actions for which he’s now imprisoned.Continue reading “Six Years After Gosnell Conviction, N.H. Laws Unchanged”
Originally published on GraniteGrok.
The New Hampshire House will vote on March 7 on HB 158, an abortion statistics bill. Here’s where we’ll find out just how much the news out of New York and Vermont has influenced New Hampshire legislators. Are they distressed to be in one of the few states that leaves abortion unregulated throughout pregnancy? Then here’s a baby step: let our public health authorities at least find out how many abortions take place in New Hampshire.
This bill won’t recognize a right to life. It doesn’t call for tracking post-abortion maternal injury or death, and it therefore would not detect abortion providers with a pattern of harming patients. It provides protection for the anonymity of women seeking abortion.
It would bring New Hampshire into line with the forty-seven other states that report abortion statistics, in aggregated non-personally-identifying form, to the Centers for Disease Control.
Abortion advocates are fighting this, as they have fought every attempt to find out how many abortions are performed in our state annually.
New Hampshire is arguably the most Gosnell-friendly state in the union, although New York is trying its best to join us. (Former abortionist Kermit Gosnell is serving life in prison for first-degree murder and manslaughter, after carrying on his business for years in Pennsylvania, a state that for a long time turned a blind eye to abortion providers.) Want to step away from that ghastly position?
Take a baby step. Pass HB 158.
Update: the House defeated HB 158, marking the eighth time since 2002 that abortion statistics legislation has failed to advance in New Hampshire.
Update, 5/4/19: HB 455 passed House and Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Sununu. An override vote has not yet been scheduled.
A veto by Governor Chris Sununu last June stopped a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty statute. Undeterred, advocates of repeal have brought forth another bill this year, HB 455. It just received an “ought to pass” recommendation from the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee on a vote of 11-6. I’m glad to see that.
The repeal effort picked up a powerful advocate this time: Rep. David Welch (R-Kingston). He’s the committee’s ranking Republican and former chairman.
I went to the recent public hearing on HB 455 to sign “the blue sheet” indicating my support. I’m a registered lobbyist with a client that does not take a position on capital punishment, so as I entered the room I had to take off my orange badge and become just another member of the general public losing time from work in order to weigh in on the bill. I caught just the end of Rep. Welch’s testimony.
As quoted in a New Hampshire Union Leader report, Rep. Welch announced he had abandoned his longtime support for capital punishment. “Now I’ve resolved my positions. I’m consistently prolife and will not vote for the death penalty.”
Remember that the next time you think someone’s views on the right to life are set in stone.
Read the rest of the post at Leaven for the Loaf.
Originally published at Leaven for the Loaf.
With great joy and gratitude, we announce that St. Gianna’s Place has found a home! We signed a lease on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. We will soon be opening our doors to welcome pregnant women in crisis and their babies. We are grateful to God for leading and inspiring us on this journey, and we are grateful to our supporters for making this possible.
We humbly ask for your continued prayers and support as we prepare to open our home to some of God’s most vulnerable. We are hosting a Go Fund Me event to raise money to purchase necessary items for our new home. If you would like to help, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/StGiannasPlace.
Again, thank you for your continued prayers and support.
“The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His Goodness.” St. Gianna pray for us!
How fitting that the lease was signed on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, given the faith and persistence of the volunteers who have brought the project this far. Housing for pregnant and parenting women in crisis is at a premium in southern New Hampshire, and St. Gianna’s Place will be part of a solution. The home will be in Hudson, and the opening date will be announced later. Right now, the task at hand is to prepare the building for occupancy.
Please view and share the Go Fund Me page set up by St. Gianna’s Place volunteers. Their immediate goal is $1000 for basic things like linens and cleaning supplies. A modest donation can go a long way.
I recall listening to a St. Gianna’s board member a couple of years ago, describing the vision driving the project. “Our Calcutta is right here,” she told me, comparing Mother Teresa’s mission field to ours here in New Hampshire, where so many more shelter beds are needed.
The signed lease goes a long way toward bringing the vision to life.
(Note: This is based on a post I wrote for Cornerstone Action, which kindly gave me permission to re-post here.)
New York’s governor ordered buildings to be illuminated in pink lights on January 22, in celebration of state law he had just signed eliminating most limitations on abortion. Legislators in Virginia and Vermont are ready to follow suit with radically anti-life policies.
Think it couldn’t happen in New Hampshire? The grim fact is that it already has. New Hampshire is one of the most abortion-friendly states in the country. Here are the facts.
How far into pregnancy are abortions permitted in New Hampshire?
- Abortions are legal, unrestricted, and unregulated throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy in New Hampshire.
- As recently as 2017 and 2018, legislators rejected bills that would have provided protection for viable preborn children.
What laws in New Hampshire affect abortion now?
- New Hampshire has a parental notification statute. When a minor seeks abortion, she needs to notify a parent or guardian, or else use a “judicial bypass” in which a judge determines she is mature enough to make her own decision. The law calls for notification, not consent.
- New Hampshire bans the barbaric abortion method known as partial-birth abortion or dilation-&-extraction, in which a child is delivered partway before being killed. This ban was passed in 2012.
- As of early 2019, New Hampshire policy limits the use of Medicaid funds for abortion.
- New Hampshire adopted a fetal homicide statute in 2017, allowing prosecutors the option of filing homicide charges against a person whose bad actions cause the death of a preborn child against the mother’s will. While not an abortion law, it was bitterly opposed by abortion advocates.
How many abortions are performed in New Hampshire annually?
- No one knows, and that includes state lawmakers. New Hampshire does not have an abortion statistics law, despite the fact that the federal Centers for Disease Control attempts to collect abortion data. Forty-seven other states manage to collect and report such data, while protecting the anonymity and privacy of individual women obtaining abortions.
- New Hampshire public health officials have no reliable data on the age of women seeking abortion, the stage of pregnancy at which abortions are performed, and whether women are experiencing abortion complications.
How many doctors do abortions in New Hampshire?
- No one knows, since public health authorities do not collect any data on abortions.
- There is no requirement that abortion providers in New Hampshire have any medical training or certification whatsoever.
Do New Hampshire state public health authorities inspect abortion facilities?
- No, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. From a May 19, 2013 report in the New Hampshire Sunday News: “Kris Neilsen, communications director for the state Department of Health and Human Services, explained in an email that abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood and the Concord Feminist Health Center are exempt from state licensing and inspection requirements because they are considered physician offices. Twenty-three health care providers such as hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, and dialysis centers are licensed by the state, but not abortion clinics. ‘In New Hampshire, there is no such thing as an abortion clinic – the majority of abortions are done in doctors offices … and doctors’ offices are exempt from licensure under RSA 151:2 II,’ Neilsen said. ‘Because they are exempt, we have no jurisdiction over them, and neither does anyone else.’”
Who sets standards for abortion facilities?
- The abortion providers themselves determine what standards to use. Since there is no law that providers have any medical training, those “standards” need not relate in any way to women’s health.
What’s the rate of post-abortion complications experienced by New Hampshire women?
- No one knows, since lawmakers refuse to demand abortion statistics and public health officials decline to collect them. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” sums it up.
Does New Hampshire law protect children who survive attempted abortion?
- No. Children who survive attempted abortion are not entitled to any more care than the abortionist wishes to provide. A bill to recognize a duty to care for such infants was defeated by the New Hampshire House in 2016.
Does New Hampshire law recognize the conscience rights of health care personnel who choose not to participate in abortion?
- No. A bill to provide conscience protections was killed in the New Hampshire House in 2018. Health care professionals in New Hampshire can lose their jobs and be subject to professional sanctions for refusing to assist in abortions.
How did New Hampshire become such a haven for abortion providers?
- In 1997, then-Governor (now U.S. Senator) Jeanne Shaheen signed a lawrepealing New Hampshire’s 19th-century anti-abortion laws. She did so knowing full well that no updated laws were in place. With a stroke of her pen, and with the cooperation of legislators, New Hampshire abortion regulation disappeared. So did concern for the health of women obtaining abortions. So did concern for preborn children, even moments away from birth.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can help turn a culture of abortion into a culture that respects and nurtures life, especially in its most vulnerable stages.
- Share the message: Knowledge is power, and many people don’t know the facts about abortion in New Hampshire.
- Pray. Join with your faith community. A culture of prayer will lead to a culture of life.
- Politicians bear a great deal of responsibility for New Hampshire’s abortion-friendly laws, but blaming Concord won’t help. What will help is electing representatives at all levels of government who respect the right to life, and who care about the health of pregnant women and their children. Vote for candidates who recognize that New Hampshire law relative to abortion must be changed.
- Consider running for local or state office.
- Work within your community to create and sustain life-affirming options for women and children at risk from abortion. Contact your local pro-life pregnancy care center to learn about practical ways you can help.
It’s almost-but-not-quite old news that New York’s Governor Cuomo signed radical pro-abortion legislation recently, and celebrated in garish fashion. Much has happened in the two weeks since. Abortion-friendly bills are coming up in state houses in Vermont, New Mexico, Virginia, and Rhode Island. In Washington, Senate and House look at legislation to protect children who survive attempted abortion, and the President in the State of the Union Address endorsed that measure.
It’s easy to look at New York and wonder how things got so bad for the right to life. It’s easy to be shocked at the sight of Democratic members of Congress sitting stone-faced as the President endorses protection for born-alive infants. But have you looked at your own state’s laws? Maybe you can’t do anything about the Land of Cuomo or the U.S. Congress, but you can act on what’s happening in your own back yard.
Originally posted at Leaven for the Loaf.
Yes, New York just passed an outrageous abortion law. But remember, New Hampshire got there first: no limitations on abortion, and no protection for children born alive after attempted abortion. We even out-do New York in one way: New Hampshire doesn’t collect any abortion statistics. And therein lies the best way for a Granite Stater to react to the news from New York.
Demand an abortion statistics law. There’s a hearing for one on Thursday, January 24, 2019 – mere hours away, as I publish this – at 11 a.m. in room 205 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. The bill is HB 158-FN.
My social media feeds are full of upset New Hampshire neighbors, all of them sick at heart over the New York news. Here’s our challenge: get just as upset about New Hampshire’s situation, and then do something about it, starting with the abortion statistics hearing.
If every single one of my distressed friends were to contact the committee members who will consider the statistics bill, they’d make an impression. You can send a message to all twenty-two members of the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs committee by sending one email to one address: HHSEA@leg.state.nh.us. Simple message: Please vote ought to pass on HB 158-FN, the abortion statistics bill.
If even half of my upset friends took a day off work to attend the hearing and sign the “blue sheet” supporting the bill, they’d make an impression. They’d pack the whole committee room, in fact, and overflow into the hallway all the way down to the elevators. I know it’s hard to take a day off work. I also know it hurts to go to a hearing and see how many abortion advocates make that kind of sacrifice without batting an eyelash.
It’s easy for me to rail about New York politicians. It’s easy to go online and warn that Governor Cuomo’s soul is in peril (not a message from me, but I’ve seen it more than once in my media feed). It’s easy to share photos of New York buildings lit up in pink to “celebrate” the passage of the new abortion law.
How about we take that energy and anger and indignation and grief and put it where it will do some good?
The abortion statistics bill would authorize New Hampshire public health authorities to do what 47 other states already do: collect abortion information in a way that protects patient privacy, and report the numbers to the federal Centers for Disease Control. How many abortions, maternal age, gestational age, incidence of post-abortion complications: New Hampshire public health authorities only know what abortion providers tell them. There’s no reporting law. HB 158-FN would change that.
I am aware that passage is unlikely, given the current makeup of the New Hampshire legislature. This is a modest little test case, though: will we bring the same intensity to this bill that we’re bringing to the online fuss over New York’s lamentable law? Will we write those emails, call those reps, come to the hearing, and eventually show up for the House vote? Will we use social media as intensively to promote HB 158-FN as we use it to criticize New York?
We can try.