NH’s Women’s Health Providers and Advocates Push Back
Against Assault on Women’s Health in 2016
Sixteen Separate Bills Form Broad Agenda to Ban Abortion
Concord, NH — Women’s health providers, patients and advocates from across the state gathered in Concord this afternoon to sound an alarm about the unprecedented number of attacks on women’s health introduced in the 2016 legislative session. “As women’s health providers and advocates for reproductive health and freedom we are united to defeat this broad agenda to ban abortion and eliminate reproductive care,” stated Jennifer Frizzell of Planned Parenthood, on behalf of the group of allies.
This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Extreme anti-women’s health lawmakers are using the occasion to kick off public hearings for a package of legislation that would make the constitutional protections of Roe meaningless for New Hampshire women and families.
“For more than forty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that under Roe v. Wade, the constitution protects every woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions about abortion. Yet some politicians in New Hampshire have made it clear with this year’s legislative agenda that they will stop at nothing to end access to safe, legal abortion,” said Devon Chafee Executive Director of the ACLU of NH.
This agenda is at odds with recent polls that show support for access to safe, legal abortion is higher in New Hampshire than any other state in the country and that more Republicans here consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life on issues like abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood.
Despite the views and values of their constituents, a handful of extreme Republicans continue their assault on women’s health care. They have introduced a legislative package consisting of 16 bills that aim at dismantling women’s preventive care and ending access to safe, legal abortion.
“Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will not back down from these ruthless political attacks. The extremist legislators forcing this agenda are putting women’s lives and health in danger. The stakes for women’s health and rights are higher than ever this year. These restrictions are part of a broader national agenda to end access to safe, legal abortion. And this is not what the people of New Hampshire want from their elected officials,” stated Jennifer Frizzell, VP for Public Policy at the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “At Planned Parenthood, we will stand up to this dangerous legislation on behalf of the women, men and young people whose health and well-being is at stake and we will not shut our doors,” continued Frizzell.
According to new data from Guttmacher, politicians across the country have enacted 288 restrictions on safe, legal abortion at the state level since the 2010 midterm elections–despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion. In New Hampshire, a group of extreme politicians have introduced a devastating legislative package consisting of 16 bills that aim at dismantling women’s health.
New Hampshire has a strong tradition of respecting women and doctors, not politicians, to make personal, private decisions about pregnancy and childbearing. Additionally, the Granite State currently has some of the best public health outcomes in the country for women, including the lowest teen pregnancy rate, and the best perinatal and maternal health outcomes. The anti-women’s health legislation introduced in 2016 would jeopardize care for New Hampshire women and reduce access for New Hampshire communities.
“Having access to the tools necessary to support choices around childbearing reduces unintended pregnancies, helps women space their childbearing, and leads to healthier babies and women. By taking those services away, New Hampshire legislators would be creating substantial risk that women will face the serious mental and physical health risks of being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, or resort to unsafe abortions,” stated Katie Robert, President of the NH Public Health Association.
“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, providers like the Concord Feminist Health Center are speaking out against politicians who would take us backwards and make it impossible to get safe and legal abortion. We simply can’t let that happen in New Hampshire,” concluded Dalia Vidunas, Executive Director.
Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion and Planned Parenthood health centers. Since July, there have been 14 national polls measuring support for Planned Parenthood–and every single one of them show strong support for Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive health care. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion and agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. A VOX/PerryUndem poll found that more Americans now consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Sixty-eight percent of Millennials don’t want to see Roe overturned, and 72 percent of Republicans think abortion should be available.
The landmark Roe v Wade decision issued on January 22, 1973.
(Featured image is from today in history)