NH delegation hosts virtual press conference with NH family planning providers ahead of SCOTUS ‘oral arguments on crucial court case threatening Roe v. Wade

November 29, 2021

(Manchester, NH) – US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today hosted a conference of virtual press with representatives from New Hampshire family planning providers ahead of the Supreme Court begin oral argument in a crucial case that threatens the future of Roe vs. Wade. The Supreme Court will begin oral argument on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health on December 1 in what is described as the most influential abortion case in nearly 50 years – a move that would pave the way for states to criminalize abortions. If the Court cancels Roe vs. Wade, eighteen states will immediately ban abortions in their state.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center also attended the press conference. Kayla Montgomery of Planned Parenthood said her New Hampshire clinic has been treating patients traveling to Texas since the state’s dangerous abortion ban took effect.

“I lived through the aftermath of the pre-Roe era – I had friends in college who were forced to ask for unsafe abortions in the back alleys because women across the country were denied access. access to essential family planning services. We cannot allow Republican lawmakers to backtrack on women’s health and reproductive rights, which is precisely what the Mississippi case seeks to do. It’s time to sound the alarm bells. said Senator Shaheen. “Roe vs. Wade is not just a decision that impacts women, their health and financial security – it also impacts generations of families. And it’s devastating to watch this extreme ideology find its way to New Hampshire State House, first through the budget the governor enacted and more recently with the Executive Council’s decision to deny crucial funding to providers who provide the majority of family planning services. services in the state of granite. I never thought I would see these types of egregious violations of privacy and egregious attacks on women’s personal health decisions end up in the “live free or die” state. No lawmaker has to tell women when and how they can start a family. There is so much at stake in this matter, which is why Granite Staters and Americans across the country must make it clear that they will not allow Republicans to undo the progress we have made over the past 50 years. .

“The Supreme Court case is a direct attack on decades of precedent set by Roe v. Wade. It is one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country and it would take us back to almost 50 years ago ”, said Senator Hassan. “The outcome would be devastating for women and the Supreme Court should not put the government before the most personal, difficult and complicated decisions of women in health care. I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade and to help ensure that all women have the individual autonomy that is essential to their ability to thrive and essential to our democracy as a whole.

“For nearly five decades since the Roe v. Wade decision, the Granite Staters have lived in a country where access to a safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right – today these protections are under serious threat,” said Representative Annie Kuster, Founder and Co-Chair of the Biparty Working Group to End Sexual Violence. “As an adoption lawyer for 25 years, I have worked with over 300 birth mothers making the most personal and difficult decisions of their lives. They consulted their families, relatives and doctors, but no one asked the government to make this choice for them. States across the country, including New Hampshire, have already passed legislation to restrict access to abortion, and we must do all we can to protect access to safe reproductive care for all. Earlier this year, I helped pass the Women’s Health Protection Act – legislation to codify the constitutional right to abortion as established in Roe v. Wade. Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling in the case they will hear on Wednesday, it is critical that this bill be signed to permanently protect women’s reproductive freedoms across our country.

“We need to do everything we can to attract attention and oppose legislation that places an onerous burden on women and health care providers, as this is incompatible with who we are as Granite Staters. The House has passed the Women’s Health Protection Act and I hope there is a way forward to pass this legislation and codify Roe v. Wade, who has strong support in New Hampshire and across the country. We can no longer count on the Supreme Court to defend Roe and be the safety net like they have been – in this new era, it’s up to us to fight back ”, said Representative Chris Pappas.

“Here’s the truth: One in four women of childbearing age in this country has had an abortion. Everyone knows and loves someone who has had an abortion. The ability of an individual to access this care is a matter of equality and freedom. But we are at a time of crisis for the right to abortion: the threat to the constitutional right to abortion has never been greater in our country. By next year, 26 states could lose access to abortion. Planned Parenthood, abortion rights advocates and healthcare providers are grateful to the entire congressional delegation for consistently championing the full range of reproductive health services, including access to an abortion safe and legal, regardless of a person’s income or zip code, as abortion is essential ”, said Kayla Montgomery, vice president of public affairs, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England / Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.

You can watch the recording here.

In New Hampshire, there is no proactive protection of access to abortion in state law. Until recently, the New Hampshire legislature enjoyed a long-standing bipartisan commitment to the privacy of personal medical decisions. In fact, in 1997 Shaheen, as governor of New Hampshire, repealed the only existing pre-Roe law with the support of the Republican majorities. But New Hampshire now faces unprecedented threats to state-level reproductive rights.

In September, the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to terminate the contracts of family planning service providers across the state. In response, the Congressional delegation hosted a press event in September with representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center to discuss the dangerous consequences of the council vote. This followed the delegation’s letter to the Biden administration calling for the rapid distribution of additional assistance directly to providers affected by the Executive Council’s decision.

The Executive Council’s vote is particularly egregious as it follows years of the Trump administration’s attacks on women’s reproductive health, including President Trump’s implementation of the “Title X gag rule,” which prevented the majority of New Hampshire family planning providers from receiving grants. The delegation welcomed the announcement last month from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would approve a rule change to reverse the Title X gag rule and help fill the funding gap for suppliers. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to support New Hampshire family planning providers who will lose state funding under the bill. New Hampshire budget.


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