April 2, 2012 — The New Hampshire House last week voted 190-109 to approve a bill (HB 1660) that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the AP/Boston Globe reports. The bill is one of a series of abortion restrictions sent to the Senate in the past few weeks.
The bill would subject doctors to felony charges, with penalties of up to 15 years in prison, for violations of its provisions. Exceptions to the 20-week ban would be allowed to save the life of the woman or prevent significant, irreversible harm to a major bodily function. According to the AP/Globe, the bill also states that abortion would be allowed after 20 weeks to save the life of the fetus.
State Rep. Lucy Weber (D), who urged lawmakers to reject the bill, said the measure does not make sense in allowing exemptions to save the life of the fetus.
State Rep. Kathleen Souza (R), a supporter of the bill, claimed that fetuses could feel pain at 20 weeks. Weber disagreed, adding that the medical community also disputes the theory.
Refusal Measure Rejected
The House also voted 238-59 to reject a bill (HB 1653) that would have allowed health care providers to refuse to provide services involving abortion; assisted reproduction, including artificial insemination; contraception; sterilization; and embryonic stem cell research, the AP/Globe reports. The vote effectively ends the measure's chances of passage (Love, AP/Boston Globe, 3/29).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership