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My Turn: Clarifying the new abortion law

For the Monitor
Published: 10/21/2021 6:00:11 AM

There has been a lot of discussion on the recent abortion law and federal funding of Planned Parenthood. I would like to touch on them here.

First, some political groups have labeled the new law “Sununu’s budget and abortion bill.” By the time the budget gets to the governor’s desk, it is actually the House and Senate’s budget. The governor would have a difficult time vetoing the budget due to the new law. As far as I know, however, the governor’s initial budget didn’t have abortion language in it.

Second, the law in question allows any woman to terminate a pregnancy up to six months. This includes an abortion due to rape, incest and one protecting the life of the mother. The post-six-month exemption is only for the life of the mother. There is language for ultrasounds (potential to change) to determine the age of the unborn child.

It also makes it a crime for a doctor to conduct a late-term abortion unless it meets the aforementioned exclusion of the life of the mother. Ultrasounds are not unique to pregnancy. The vast majority of women get them. As it relates to the punishment of the doctor, this law, like others, has penalties if violated.

Third, the New Hampshire law is the same as 43 other states in the United States. It is not the next Texas law, as represented by some in the press. The New Hampshire law makes both sides upset. The left feels that one should be able to obtain an abortion at any time, while the right feel the exact opposite.

Finally, the Planned Parenthood funding was withheld due to their failure to comply with the new law’s disclosure provision. The use of funds and facilities must be separated and accounted for. They didn’t do this when requesting money from the Executive Council.

Recently, on WMUR’s Close-Up, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said that late-term abortions never or hardly ever take place in New Hampshire. This law reinforces that trend and allows New Hampshire to make a healthcare law that mirrors over three-quarters of the other states in the United States.

(Rep. Jack Flanagan is former Majority Leader of the NH House of Representatives.)

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