Update: Speaker Demands Apology For Abortion Remark During Debate Over Fourth Graders' Bird Bill

Mar 20, 2015

Updated at 3:45 PM:

N.H. House speaker Shawn Jasper is demanding an apology from the state rep who made an abortion remark during debate over the bill proposed by fourth graders to designate the Red Tailed Hawk as the state's official raptor. 

In a release sent to the media, Jasper says, "Rep. Groen clearly crossed the line in his remarks during the debate on the Red Tailed Hawk.  Not only was it in extremely poor taste but it also violated Mason’s Rules which governs debate, that 'No one is to speak impertinently (or rudely).' The comment drawing a correlation between the Red Tailed Hawk and Planned Parenthood was offensive on many levels and I believe Rep. Groen owes an apology to not only the children of the Lincoln Ackerman School in Hampton Falls, but to his constituents and to his colleagues in the House.”

Click through the gallery above to see a screenshot of the full statement sent in the email.

New Hampshire lawmakers voted against a bill proposed by Hampton Falls fourth grade students.
Credit New Hampshire State House)

Friday AM:  

A civics lesson took an unexpected turn for a group of New Hampshire fourth-graders when a lawmaker brought the abortion debate into their effort to name a state raptor.

The students from Lincoln H. Akerman School crafted a bill to make the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor, then watched from the House of Representatives gallery last week to see if it would pass.

Rep. Warren Groen noted the hawk tears its prey apart "limb by limb" and said it's a better mascot for Planned Parenthood, where abortions are performed.

Principal Mark Deblois said some kids asked their parents what the Planned Parenthood reference meant but that the kids were more upset by lawmakers who turned their bill into a joke.

Groen said Thursday he stood by his comments.

You can watch the video of the comments here, courtesy of NH1 News.