The New Hampshire House today tabled HR 6, a resolution in favor of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, on a vote of 239-111 . HR 6 had come to the floor without recommendation after an 8-8 deadlock in the Judiciary Committee.
Tabling does not kill the resolution but removes it from immediate consideration.
Six Democrats and two Republicans co-sponsored the resolution, which states “the New Hampshire House of Representatives hereby recognizes the critical importance of continued access to safe and legal abortion.” Supporting clauses include claims that a majority of New Hampshire residents “oppose efforts to overturn or weaken the principles” of Roe and that “violence against health care providers and restrictions on access to abortion endanger the lives of women and families and have continued to erode access to abortion.”
Between the 2010 and 2012 elections, New Hampshire restored a parental notification statute for abortions sought by minors. Last year, legislators overrode a gubernatorial veto of a partial-birth abortion ban. Neither statute can block a woman’s access to abortion, with judicial bypass available to minors, and any abortion method available to a provider other than partial delivery and subsequent killing of the newborn child. Both laws were drafted to be consistent with other states’ legislation already found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. All eight of the sponsors of HR 6 opposed the partial-birth ban, and seven of the eight opposed parental notification (the eighth representative had an excused absence from the vote).
The resolution’s claim of the importance of “safe” abortion contradicts the failure thus far of efforts by previous legislatures to require New Hampshire health authorities to collect statistics on maternal morbidity and mortality associated with abortion.