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Ari Schechter,

April 13, 2023

Senate votes against putting abortion rights in state law and against repealing criminal and civil penalties currently faced by doctors under NH’s 24-week abortion ban

CONCORD, N.H. - The ACLU of New Hampshire today released the following statement after the New Hampshire Senate voted against two abortion rights bills. They voted against HB 88 in a 14-10 vote, which would have placed the right to have an abortion into state law, and against HB 224 in a 14-10 vote, which would have repealed the criminal and civil penalties doctors currently face under New Hampshire's current 24-week abortion ban.

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said: 

“We are outraged that, although Granite Staters overwhelmingly support abortion rights, our state senators have once again failed to pass legislation that would safeguard our right to abortion. It is unconscionable to not take this basic step to protect private healthcare decisions, especially amidst the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s devastating decision overturning Roe less than a year ago and today’s court ruling further restricting safe and effective abortion medication. 

“Because of this vote, New Hampshire remains the only state in New England with no proactive protections for abortion in state law. Everyone should be deeply concerned about the effect these votes against abortion rights will have on their health and lives and those of their loved ones. 

“Laws that punish medical providers with hefty fines and potential incarceration have been shown in numerous studies to ultimately result in poor health outcomes. The senate’s vote against repealing this law is indefensible. Legislators should enact policies that attract healthcare providers to the Granite State, not inspire fear by criminalizing care and impeding access to safe abortion care. 

“Today’s votes are yet another example of New Hampshire's failure to stand up against extremist, anti-abortion efforts underway to ban and restrict abortion in the state. Banning abortion is deeply unpopular in New Hampshire – and there will be no place for politicians who advocate for bans and restrictions or who vote against affirmative efforts to hide from the consequences of their cruel actions.

 "We will hold these lawmakers accountable with their constituents and continue fighting to protect all Granite Staters’ right to abortion.”