Abortion

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The US Supreme Court last year struck down a 35-foot buffer zone law in Massachusetts, and NH’s 25-foot buffer law remains under challenge in US District Court.

This issue is also contentious at the state house.  For opponents of the buffer zones. Like Republican Senator Sharon Carson of Londonderry, it is about free speech and individual liberty.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill allowing doctors to prescribe the overdose reversal drug Narcan may soon become law after the Senate passed the measure on Thursday.

If Governor Maggie Hassan signs off on the legislation– doctors across the state will be able to put Narcan in the hands of family, friends and users. Currently first responders and law enforcement are allowed to administer it.

The Governor would not say if she would back the bill but said she will closely review it.

Republican Andy Sanborn of Bedford says this bill is about saving lives.

Sara Plourde

  On Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill repealing a law that would create a 25 foot buffer zone around facilities where abortions are performed.

The bill follows a Supreme Court decision striking down similar law in Massachusetts.

The New Hampshire law never went into effect after it was challenged in Federal court.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Kathleen Souza, is an anti-abortion demonstrator. She says she would have introduced the bill even absent a Supreme Court decision.

Allegra Boverman

The house voted Thursday to repeal a law that created buffer zones for protestors around health clinics that provide abortions.

In recent years, both New Hampshire and Massachusetts passed such laws. But last year, the Supreme Court overturned the Massachusetts law, and New Hampshire’s law is yet to be enforced.

Before the new bill passed be a 170-159 margin, Republican Representative Joseph Hagan of Chester said the existing bill steps on free-speech rights.

Penalties for indecent exposure and the legality of abortions are on tap for the New Hampshire House.

Lawmakers are scheduled to debate these and several other issues during Wednesday's legislative session, beginning at 10 a.m.

Sara Plourde

Planned Parenthood is suggesting New Hampshire lawmakers replace the state law creating "buffer zones" around facilities that provide abortions rather than repeal it.

New Hampshire's 25-foot buffer zone law has not been enforced since its passage last summer because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a similar Massachusetts law. The House Judiciary Committee took testimony Tuesday on a bill to repeal the buffer zone law outright. Its sponsors say the state will face a costly lawsuit if the law remains in place.

via YouTube

The US Senate campaigns of Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown continue to battle over Brown’s record on abortion.

A day after Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign aired an ad highlighting a Scott Brown’s sponsorship of  2005 bill in the Massachusetts legislature that sought to imposed a 24-waiting period for abortion and require women to be provided with images of fetus, the Brown campaign was up with an ad of his own.

It features Brown speaking right into the camera.

Police in Massachusetts will have new powers to disperse crowds around abortion clinics under a new law signed by Governor Deval Patrick Wednesday.

The governor signed the bill flanked by the Attorney General and the Senate President, the two most powerful women on Beacon Hill. He praised the lawmakers' speedy response to the recent supreme court decision which struck down Massachusetts' 35-foot buffer zone law around abortion clinics.

Sara Plourde

A Christian legal group has asked a federal judge to block a New Hampshire law that bars demonstrators from coming within 25 feet of facilities that offer or perform abortions.

New Hampshire’s so-called buffer zone rule is set to take effect Thursday. But in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a similar law in Massachusetts, Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to delay implementation of the new restrictions.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan said her administration will “closely review” how Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Massachusetts’ law that restricts protests outside abortion clinics will affect a similar law that will take effect in New Hampshire next month.

Hassan, who is in Turkey on a trade mission, signed a bill June 10 that authorizes reproductive health facilities that perform abortions to establish 25-foot buffer zones around the entrance. The law is set to take effect July 10.

In a decision that could have implications in New Hampshire, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Massachusetts law that permits a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics.

The justices were unanimous in ruling that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law a bill enabling abortion clinics to create a buffer zone that would keep protesters clear of the entrance.

After a prolonged legislative debate in the house, the final language in the bill gives reproductive health clinics the flexibility to make clearly marked buffer zones “up to” 25 feet in radius.

Jennifer Frizzell with Planned Parenthood says the buffer zones will ensure the privacy, dignity and safety of patients while protecting first amendment rights.

abortion protest in San Francisco - 333
Steve Rhodes / Flickr Creative Common

 

A spokesman for Gov. Maggie Hassan says she will sign a bill that would allow New Hampshire's reproductive health facilities where abortions are offered to set buffer zones up to 25 feet around their entrances.

cmh2315fl / Flickr/CC

N.H.'s Death Penalty Faces a Last Repeal Attempt for the Year

Although the matter seemed settled for the year after the State Senate tabled a repeal bill, longtime opponents of capital punishment in the House are making one last attempt. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The New Hampshire House passed a bill (162, 100) to create a marked buffer zone around abortion clinic entrances to keep protesters 25 feet back.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

  The House Judiciary committee considered a bill Tuesday that would create a 25 foot buffer zone to keep anti-abortion activists clear of abortion clinic entrances. While it’s expected to become law, it may face legal challenges when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar law in Massachusetts.


hmoloshok / Flickr Creative Commons

With two stubborn, diametrically opposed sides, the country’s abortion debate has moved very little in either direction since Roe v. Wade 40 years ago. While polls indicate most Americans do not support overturning the landmark supreme court decision to allow abortions, many do support some limitations on the procedure. And it’s in this direction that many state legislatures have swung recently, with a record number of restrictions passed since 2010.  While this trend is changing the landscape for abortion access in some parts of the country, New England continues to be an exception.

This year, several states have passed or are debating to pass more restrictions on abortion, The toughest being in North Dakota’s which has banned the procedure after six weeks.  But in New Hampshire some predict the long time abortion-rights stance of Governor Maggie Hassan should mean a status quo here..  We’ll examine what’s behind these trends, statewide and nationwide and what it could mean for the future of laws in the Granite State.

Guests:

Jennifer Frizzell – Senior policy advisor for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England

It’s been forty years since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion.  Over the decades, abortion policy in the Granite State has fluctuated between lighter and tighter restrictions on abortion.  Thursday on the Exchange, we’ll look at where this issue stands in our state today…and where it may go.

Guests:

Susan Arnold - Chair of NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire

Fran Wendleboe - Assistant Secretary of the NH Republican State Committee, Former Republican Representative from New Hampton

It’s been just about a year since New Hampshire’s parental notification law took effect – a good time to look at what supporters and opponents said might happen and what actually has happened.

Annmarie Timmins reports for the Concord Monitor. She looked at the law and its effects in a piece for this past Sunday’s paper, and she joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson with more.

abortion protest in San Francisco - 333
Steve Rhodes / Flickr Creative Common

While voters say economic issues are their top concern, abortion is also a high priority this year.  In a recent Gallup Poll, nearly two-thirds of voters said it’s an important factor in their decision. 

But when you have a pro-choice Republican running against a pro-choice Democrat, abortion doesn’t seem like an obvious lightning-rod issue. 

N.H. Legislature Overrides Veto On Abortion Bill

Jun 27, 2012

New Hampshire's Legislature has voted to override Gov. John Lynch's veto of a bill banning partial-birth abortions.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Governor Lynch has vetoed a bill banning so-called “partial birth abortions.” The bill was the only anti-abortion bill that made it through the legislature this session.

Late term abortions, also known as partial birth abortions, are already outlawed under federal law. But according the Governor’s spokesman Colin Manning, the Governor was concerned by a provision that would require a second opinion before a woman could receive the procedure even if her life were threatened by the pregnancy.

The majority of North Country representatives voted in favor of resurrecting a bill that would require women wanting an abortion to wait 24 hours.

Such a bill passed the House  in March.

But then the Senate killed it last month.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

All eyes were on the State Senate today, where lawmakers voted down a bevy of bills that would regulate abortion and allow employers to opt out of covering contraception.

State lawmakers have traditionally rejected such measures, but the issue has become a point of friction between the house and Senate. That friction is set to continue.

Senate Begins Battle Over Abortion Funding

Apr 5, 2012

Thursday, members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered a bill that would ban public funding of facilities that provide abortion. Opponents of the bill, which has already been approved by the House, say it could jeopardize $700 million in federal Medicaid funds. The bill's sponsor, Republican of Rochester Warren Groen, says preventing the state from funding abortion is a smarter way to use scare with public dollars.

 

Seven North Country legislators were among the majority passing a bill on Thursday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Three North Country representatives voted against the bill while six were excused from voting.

The bill, HB 1660, passed 190 – 109. It now goes to the Senate.

Here are the legislators who voted in favor of the bill:

* Lyle Bulis (Republican) of Littleton

* Larry Rappaport (Republican) of Colebrook.

 

Nine North Country representatives voted in favor of a bill that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion and three voted against.

As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reported:

The so-called women’s right to know bill had to be pared back to win final house passage.

The NH house has voted to require women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion. 

The so-called women’s right to know bill had to be pared back to win final house passage. Penalties for doctors were stripped, as was the  requirements that abortion providers give women seeking an abortion specific information about abortion risks, including a contested claim linking aborts to breast cancer.  According to the final amendments lead author Republican Tammy Simmons of Manchester, limiting the proposal to a simple 24 waiting period is a common sense compromise.

'October Baby' Tells A Story Hollywood Wouldn't

Mar 27, 2012

October Baby tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, a first-year college student, who leaves home on a search for her birth mother. In many ways, it's a Hollywood-style road trip movie dealing with questions of identity, but at the movie's core is also a vigorous message about abortion.

In one scene, Hannah tracks down a nurse who worked at the health clinic where her birth mother had sought an abortion — one that failed when Hannah was born prematurely.

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