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Ari Schechter,

June 24, 2022

Abortion is still legal in New Hampshire, but attacks on access continue

CONCORD, N.H. - The Supreme Court issued a shameful ruling today overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago. Today’s ruling will allow anti-abortion politicians to ban abortion in states across the country which will force countless people to remain pregnant and have children against their will. The ruling in this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will set off a chain reaction with states banning abortion and criminalizing essential care throughout entire regions of the country.

In New Hampshire, access to abortion remains legal today up to 24 weeks, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. However, anti-abortion politicians have made it clear that they will not stop with Roe’s reversal and banning abortion state by state; extremists have made it clear that they will work to ban abortion nationwide. In the face of this unprecedented attack on the bodily autonomy of women and people who can become pregnant, the ACLU of New Hampshire is working with partners to send a clear message to lawmakers that everything must be done to protect and expand access to abortion to ensure everyone can make their own decisions about their bodies and futures.

In response to the ruling, Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision, a brazen assault on the fundamental right to bodily autonomy, will be remembered for the suffering and condemnation it will impose on millions of people.

“Right now, abortion in New Hampshire remains safe, legal, and accessible up to 24 weeks. But anti-abortion extremists and politicians have made it clear they are working to ban abortion nationwide, including here in the Granite State.

“What was unfathomable mere months ago–taking away our ability to control our own bodies and futures and allowing states to criminalize people seeking and providing health care–is now a fight at our front door.

“But we have the power to fight back by holding politicians accountable through protesting in the streets, advocating at the State House, and voting at the ballot box. 

“None of our rights or liberties are secure in the face of a Supreme Court that has reversed Roe. Make no mistake: politicians won’t stop here. The same anti-abortion extremists seeking to control the bodies of women and pregnant people are coming for the right to access birth control and gender-affirming care, marry who we love, and vote.

“The path to ensuring we have the fundamental right to choose when and if to have a child is long, but the ACLU of New Hampshire will be there every step of the way until we all have the power to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.

“Banning abortion is deeply unpopular in New Hampshire and across the country – and there will be no place for politicians who advocate for these laws to hide from the consequences of their cruel actions. 

“Anti-abortion politicians don’t get the final say. We do.”

Banning abortion will have an immediate and devastating impact on women and pregnant people, taking from them a right that has been central to their ability to plan their lives, families, and careers. But the burdens will disproportionately fall on people of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ communities. Today’s ruling will also have deadly consequences, with the harm falling hardest on Black women and other people of color who already face a severe maternal mortality crisis that is the worst in the same states that are determined to ban abortion. In fact, Black women are three times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, or shortly after. If abortion is banned nationwide, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent nationwide, and 33 percent among Black women. 

With thousands of staff and volunteers in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the nationwide ACLU has been preparing for this moment for years and will carry out a multi-pronged approach to stem the tide of attacks on abortion and expand access where possible.