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Emily’s List Puts Gov. Sununu And NH Legislature ‘On Notice’ For Attacks On Women’s Rights

Since Governor Chris Sununu took office the New Hampshire State Legislature has been pushing their ideological right wing agenda.  With the help of Governor Sununu, some of their crazy bills have actually become law.

The legislature attempted to ram through a number of bills attacking women’s reproductive rights.  Most notably was SB66, the “fetal personhood” bill, that passed along party lines. Before Sununu signed the bill it was determined that the bill was fundamentally flawed giving pregnant women “impunity to commit murder.”

“SB 66 would include the term ‘fetus’ in the definition of ‘another’ for the purpose of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and causing or aiding suicide.  This would not apply to women seeking medical procedures or abortions.” (Rewire, 3/21/17)

Anti-women Republicans in the Legislature also pushed a repeal of the state’s “buffer zone law,” a bill to publicly report women who sought an abortion, and an outright ban on abortions after 21 weeks with no exceptions.

These actions have prompted EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, put Republicans in New Hampshire’s General Court “On Notice” for the upcoming 2018 election. “On Notice” is a list of incumbent Republicans and legislative chambers at all levels of government being called out by EMILY’s List for their anti-woman and anti-family records. EMILY’s List is targeting these seats and chambers in its 2018 electoral efforts.

“Republicans in the New Hampshire Legislature have amassed a shameful record of voting to turn back the clock on women’s rights,” said EMILY’s List Executive Director Emily Cain. “These legislators have recklessly passed legislation that limits the reproductive rights of women, have attempted to repeal the existing law that provides buffer zones to protect women, and have attempted to put in place an abortion ban after just over 21 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. That is why EMILY’s List is recruiting an historic number of strong, pro-choice Democratic women leaders  in 2018 to hold these Republican legislators accountable for their out-of-touch agenda.”

Aside from the “fetal personhood” legislation that Governor Sununu signed, he also campaigned on his support of anti-abortion legislation and a “pro-life” agenda.

Sununu also failed to condemn, then candidate Donald Trump, after the Access Hollywood tapes became public.

“Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu is not revoking his endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and says party members need to stand behind the nominee, despite the release of a videotape in which Trump is heard bragging about groping and otherwise sexually assaulting women.” [Union Leader, 10/10/16]

For these reasons Emily’s List has also put Governor Chis Sununu “On Notice.”

“Governor Chris Sununu has amassed a shameful record of turning his back on women’s rights and shortchanging New Hampshire  families,” said EMILY’s List Executive Director Emily Cain. “Sununu approved a reckless bill that could put New Hampshire on the path to recognizing ‘personhood,’ refused to disavow Donald Trump time after time, and stood up for anti-choice legislation. That is why EMILY’s List is putting Sununu ‘On Notice’ and targeting this seat, because New Hampshire women deserve far better than failed leadership from this governor.”

With nearly 18,000 women reaching out to EMILY’s List interested in running for office, the organization has tripled the size of its state and local campaign staff in order to provide candidates with the resources they need to run and win.

The 2018 launch of this state-level “On Notice” program includes three governors, legislative bodies in ten states, three secretaries of state and a state attorney general, and is the largest ever in the organization’s 32-year history. It follows the announcement of EMILY’s List’s top congressional and Senate targets in July. A full list of state-level Republican targets can be found here.

Planned Parenthood Supporters on the Seacoast Launch “I Stand with PP” Lawn Signs

Hundreds Publicly Show Their Support  for Women’s Health and the 12,000 Granite Staters who Rely on Planned Parenthood 

CONCORD, NH—This weekend, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund members hosted an ‘I Stand With Planned Parenthood’ lawn sign drop on the Seacoast. More than 200 Granite Staters placed signs outside their homes to publicly stand in solidarity with the state’s largest women’s health provider as it faces political attacks in Washington. Activists in other regions of the state have similar community based lawn sign campaigns underway in their areas.

“Planned Parenthood supporters want politicians in Concord, and in Washington, to understand that defunding Planned Parenthood by stripping access to preventive health care and birth control would have far reaching consequences”, said Kayla Montgomery, Director of Advocacy and Organizing for Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “Supporters are embracing the “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” campaign in record numbers to make sure that sure that we don’t turn back the clock on reproductive health and rights.”

 “I am extremely proud to publicly support Planned Parenthood. It terrifies me to think we could go back to an era where low-income women and families had nowhere to turn for their care. Given how many NH residents rely on Planned Parenthood, it’s no wonder why the roads from here to the capital are lined with pink ‘I Stand With Planned Parenthood’ signs,” said Jess McGondel, a supporter from Portsmouth.  

The #IStandWithPlannedParenthood national grassroots campaign includes 300 events in 47 states across the country. Speaker Ryan recently pledged to defund Planned Parenthood health services – a measure that would leave thousands of Granite Staters without care. The measure would prohibit the health care provider from receiving reimbursement for services, like cancer screenings and birth control, provided to patients insured by federal programs like Medicaid and Medicare. In effect, this blocks patients from accessing reproductive health care. Federal insurance programs do not cover abortion.

Volunteers Meredith and Meghan deliver signs to a supporter in Exeter

On January 21st, PPNHAF will cohost a ‘NH Women’s Day of Action & Unity’ in Concord, NH. The ‘NH Women’s Day of Action & Unity’ will include a morning rally and afternoon advocate training. Hundreds of New Hampshire residents have RSVPed to attend and are eager to voice their support for women’s health, equity, and justice in an era of uncertainty for Planned Parenthood and abortion access.

PPNHAF also plans to host three open mic “story slams” in coffee shops in Manchester, Portsmouth and Keene where women, men, and families can share the important role Planned Parenthood and reproductive health care access has played in their lives. The events will take place on January 26th and 27th at Book & Bar in Portsmouth on Thursday January 26th from 7-9pm, Brewbakers in Keene on Friday January 27th from 6-8pm and Studio 550 in Manchester on Friday January 27th from 7-9pm.

In the past two months, hundreds of people have signed up to volunteer in New Hampshire, mobilizing supporters to fight back against this effort to restrict access to health care. The events coincide with the launch of a new website, istandwithpp.org, directing supporters to take action by sending letters to their members of Congress, volunteering for Planned Parenthood, sharing their story, finding an event, or calling their senator. Since Friday, 179,000 people signed a petition asking Congress to stand with Planned Parenthood against the attacks. 

The American people overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood. Sixteen separate nationwide polls and nine polls in key swing states show strong favorability for Planned Parenthood and strong opposition to efforts in Congress to block patients from accessing high-quality, often lifesaving care at Planned Parenthood. Additionally, a recent Politico-Harvard poll showed overwhelming support for Planned Parenthood, including from nearly half of self-identified Trump supporters. 

Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund (PPNHAF) is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England in New Hampshire. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.

Ayotte Backs Away From Trump But Critics Still Blast Her For Ever Supporting Him

It is official. After a whirlwind day of statements and calls for Ayotte to disavow Donald Trump following his lewd offensive comments about women were released by the Washington Post, Ayotte has finally said she will not vote for Donald Trump.

However Ayotte’s delay in removing her “support” for Donald Trump drew a lot of criticism.

Governor Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate for US Senate was the first to criticize Ayotte’s backtracking on Trump.

“Kelly Ayotte today simply reinforced that everything she does is based on cold, political calculations about what is in her personal best interest. After spending 24 hours running the political math, Ayotte has made a decision that is a transparent, craven attempt at political self-preservation.  For months, Kelly Ayotte stood by Trump as he demeaned women, minorities, people with disabilities, Gold Star families, and was deemed a danger to our national security, even going so far as saying he should ‘absolutely’ be a role model for children. What Kelly Ayotte doesn’t seem to understand is the chance to show courage has long past, and her hollow words today reveal as much about her own character as they do Donald Trump’s. Her words are far too little and far too late.” 

Maggie for NH also released a new version of their wildly popular “absolutely” video.

This new ad will be part of Maggie for NH’s efforts to continue to hold Ayotte accountable for her craven political calculation to stand by Donald Trump for months, including her statement on Monday that Trump should “absolutely” be a role model for children.

“Try as she might, Kelly Ayotte cannot run from the fact that she stood by Donald Trump’s anti-woman and dangerous campaign for months, even saying less than a week ago that Trump should ‘absolutely’ be a role model for children,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Ayotte long ago missed her opportunity to show courage, and Granite Staters will not be fooled by her craven political calculation to try to save her Senate seat.” 

“Kelly Ayotte’s statement today is a cowardly calculation and desperate attempt to save her own skin after she determined supporting Trump would no longer be politically survivable,” said NHDP Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “Speaking out against Trump only now and only after intense political pressure tacitly approves of all of the vile and disgusting things he has said and done before yesterday. Mocking a reporter with a disability, fat shaming women and attacking a Gold Star mother were not disqualifying to Kelly Ayotte. The only disqualification she recognizes is Trump’s damage to her own electoral odds.”

“Kelly Ayotte’s cowardly pivot today is too little too late. New Hampshire voters have seen her for the callous and calculating politician she is and will reject her for it in one month,” added Miller.

Throughout the election, Ayotte has faced harsh criticism for her votes on women’s health issues and Planned Parenthood.

“By throwing her support to Mike Pence, Ayotte is doubling down on the same extreme anti-women agenda that voters despise about Trump,” continued Miller. “Not only did Ayotte and Pence work together in Congress on a bill to allow hospitals to deny lifesaving medical care to women and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, but Pence has actually said that working mothers emotionally stunt their children and as Governor of Indiana has signed some of the most anti-choice and anti-women’s health legislation in the country into law.” 

“Kelly Ayotte may be in full panic mode, but trading a candidate who boasts about attacks on women for someone who legislates them is cowardice, not courage,” said Dawn Laguens, head of Planned Parenthood Votes.  “Ayotte supported Trump as he made numerous offensive statements, and as he advocated legislation that would strip away women’s health and rights. Now she’s saying she’ll support Mike Pence, who has made a career out of attacking women’s health and rights. Kelly Ayotte can’t fool us, and she can’t fool voters: They both have spent their careers blocking access to women’s health care. This move is too little, too late.”

“Women in New Hampshire should not be fooled by Kelly Ayotte’s last-ditch effort to distance herself from Donald Trump,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock. “She spent months standing by Donald Trump as he body shamed women, called them ‘fat pigs’ and ‘dogs,’ said that Mexicans were ‘criminals’ and ‘rapists,’ and said there should be ‘some form of punishment’ for women who have abortions. She even went so far as to say that Trump ‘absolutely’ is a role model.”  

“Kelly Ayotte knows that New Hampshire women won’t stand by a candidate who demeans women every chance he gets, and they won’t stand by a senator who agrees with Trump that Planned Parenthood should be defunded and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. This move by Ayotte is completely political, and a blatant attempt to salvage her reelection bid in November,” added Schriock. 

“Republican leaders have nowhere to hide and nobody but themselves to blame for the situation they are in,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “Their flailing attempts to save their own political careers is the natural conclusion of a party that has spent decades telling women that it knew what was best for our bodies and our families. Be it Donald Trump, Mike Pence, or whichever anti-choice leader they end up favoring, they will still be pushing the same misogynistic agenda under different packaging.”

“After enabling Trump’s rise and pushing the same misogynistic agenda, the crass attempt by Sen. Ayotte, Congressman Heck, and other GOP leaders to save their own political careers with last-ditch denunciations is too little, too late. Standing up to a bully only when it suits your political interests isn’t courageous, it’s cowardly, and voters will hold them accountable,” added Hogue. 

National grassroots activism organization, MoveOn.Org also launched a new online ad targeting conservative Christian women in New Hampshire, urging them to vote for Clinton and Hassan.

“After more than a year of his unacceptable and indefensible remarks and behavior, Kelly Ayotte and other Republicans leaders continued to set aside their morals and stand beside Trump, enabling his campaign of bigotry, hatred, and sexism,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. “Enough is enough. Ayotte and the Republican Party have paved the way, and cheered along, as Trump relentlessly attacked women, veterans, Gold Star families, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, and other communities. Anything that Ayotte and other Republican leaders who backed Trump say now is too little, too late. Americans will reject Trump, and those who’ve stood with him, on November 8.”


Ayotte should have never connected herself with Donald Trump in any way. She should have rejected him from the beginning.  They always say, “hindsight is 20/20.”

Senator Ayotte’s War On Women’s Health And Reproductive Rights

Senator Kelly Ayotte claims to be standing up for Granite State women but her votes on the “Blunt Amendment”, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood tell a very different tale.

Over the last five years in Washington, Sen. Ayotte voted six times to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides critical health care services to thousands of New Hampshire women, including preventative care, birth control and cancer screenings.

She even submitted her own “women’s health” bill that women’s health experts called a “sham and an insult to women.” The bill would hurt women by making birth control more expensive–up to $600 more in out of pocket costs each year.

Increasing the cost of birth control does nothing to help women. When women are forced to pay more money out of pocket for their prescriptions, women lose while pharmaceutical companies line their pockets with their hard earned money.

So it comes as no surprise that Senator Ayotte has collected more than $200,000 dollars in campaign contributions from Big Pharma.

She also voted against allowing Americans to access safe and less expensive prescription drugs from Canada. She also blocked a measure that would help get more affordable generic drugs to market sooner.

“Kelly Ayotte has put her big pharma campaign backers ahead of the health of the people of New Hampshire,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “We deserve a Senator who will put New Hampshire first, stand up to predatory pharmaceutical companies, and help increase access to affordable medications and health care overall.”

In addition to voting to defund Planned Parenthood six times, Ayotte has also voted to cut all funding to the Title X Family Planning Program, which helps fund 4,200 Family Planning Centers that provide access to breast and cervical cancer screenings and other preventive health care to many low-income women.

And Ayotte opposes a woman’s right to choose. She said, “I certainly believe that Roe [v. Wade] should be overturned,” and cosponsored a plan which would have allowed employers to deny women insurance coverage for birth control.

Some have speculated that Ayotte’s failure to do her job and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice is because she is waiting for Donald Trump to nominate a justice who will overturn Roe v Wade.

Kelly Tries To Deceive Voters About Her Support Of Women’s Health On The Campaign Trail

Kelly Ayotte’s campaign continues to perpetuate the myth that she supports women’s health care. When confronted about her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood, Kelly Ayotte has the same pivot –– that she’d redirect money to community health centers. But there are a few major problems with her canned response.

First, Ayotte has repeatedly voted against federal funds to support community health centers. She repeatedly voted against the Affordable Care Act that provided $11B over five years to support Community Health Centers across the nation.

Second, Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the family planning needs for those who rely on federally-funded health programs.

A recent report found that in the 491 counties served by a Planned Parenthood clinic, “Planned Parenthood serves at least half of all American women who receive birth control from safety-net clinics. In one-fifth of these counties, a Planned Parenthood site is the only family planning center for clients who rely on subsidized help.”

The report also found that, “Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprise 10% of publicly supported safety-net family planning centers, they serve 36% of clients who obtain publicly supported contraceptive services from such centers.”

“Kelly Ayotte has spent six years voting to restrict access to women’s health care. Now that she’s up for reelection, she’s trying to moderate. The fact is that Ayotte’s votes against Title X funding and the ACA, have not only jeopardized care at Planned Parenthood health centers, they also aimed to restrict access to care for women and low-income families at the very Community Health Centers she claims to support. Granite Staters can see right through Kelly Ayotte’s election year politics,” said Victoria Bonney, Communications Manager for Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.

This week, Maggie for NH released a new ad, “Six Times,” highlighting the six times Ayotte has voted against Granite State women by voting against Planned Parenthood.

“Kelly Ayotte has a long record of standing with her political party at the expense of Granite State families, and her six votes to defund Planned Parenthood and jeopardize access to critical health services including cancer screenings and birth control are yet another example,” said Maggie for NH Press Secretary Meira Bernstein. “Maggie Hassan believes that it’s unacceptable that politicians in Washington are still playing politics with women’s health care, and in the Senate, she will fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own health decisions and to safely and affordably access health care.”

The Trump/Ayotte Ticket

Now Ayotte may not be endorsing Donald Trump for President, though she says she will vote for him, they are walking hand-in-hand attacking women’s health and reproductive rights.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, Trump announced his support for Ayotte’s “sham” contraceptive bill that would force women to pay up to $600 more for their birth control prescriptions.

“Donald Trump’s support for (or is it an endorsement of?) Kelly Ayotte’s plan to make birth control more expensive makes it crystal clear that when it comes to undermining women’s healthcare Ayotte and Trump are in perfect agreement,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “New Hampshire women and people of all genders who care about access to affordable healthcare will reject this toxic ticket in the fall and send both Trump and Ayotte packing.”

More facts on Senator Ayotte’s war on women:

FACT: Ayotte has voted repeatedly to repeal the requirement that health insurance cover birth control without a copay.

FACT: At the urging of the Koch Brothers’ political arm, Kelly Ayotte voted to slash $1.3 billion from community health centers nationwide. This same bill would have also eliminated 750 community health center jobs in just New Hampshire.

FACT: The bill Ayotte touts regarding mammograms is dependent on the preventative care protections in the Affordable Care Act which Ayotte has voted five times to repeal. If Kelly Ayotte gets her way, 285,949 New Hampshire women will lose the guarantee that their insurance will cover preventative services like mammograms with no out of pocket costs.

FACT: Ayotte co-sponsored and voted for a measure that would have given employers the right to refuse insurance coverage for their employees of any medical treatments or services they disagree with–including birth control. This bill was opposed by the American Cancer Society because it would allow bosses to deny their employees coverage for important preventive health services.

FACT: On at least three different occasions, Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness legislation to ensure that women are paid equally for equal work.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women make 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in New Hampshire. The numbers are worse for minority women: African American women earn 65 cents and Latinas 70 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

“Ayotte voted against Paycheck Fairness a whole bunch of times. And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable “Equal Pay” bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different,” wrote Kaili Joy Gray for Wonkette.

Chris Sununu Is Back To Attacking Planned Parenthood, Supporting A New Investigation

The newly crowned Republican Gubernatorial nominee, Chris Sununu is trying to play both sides of the ‘women’s health’ debate.

Chris Sununu nervously drinking water moments after voting to restore funding to Planned Parenthood.  Image by IsaacEpsteinPhotography

Chris Sununu nervously drinking water moments after voting to restore funding to Planned Parenthood. Image by IsaacEpsteinPhotography

In 2015, he voted to defund Planned Parenthood over false accusations and a misleading, completely debunked video about Planned Parenthood selling “baby parts.”  The video sparked outrage among the hard right, anti-abortion crowd.  Many called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood in an attempt to somehow prove these false conspiracy theories in a giant waste of taxpayer money.

After Sununu decided to make a run for Governor he quickly realized that a hard right anti-women’s health position would be bad for his campaign, he suddenly had a change in heart.  When the funding for Planned Parenthood came up in the Executive Council again, Sununu voted to restore the funding he cut before.

During the Republican primary, State Rep Frank Edelblut and others used Sununu’s vote on Planned Parenthood as a way to attack him and show he is a flip-flopper on this issue.

So what does Sununu do? He pulls his campaign hard to the right.

In the past 6 weeks, Chris Sununu has on multiple occasions expressed support for launching a new investigation into Planned Parenthood—even while acknowledging the videos from last year’s controversy have been debunked and discredited.


In an interview with the Union Leader, Sununu was asked, “Do you still think there should be an investigation into Planned Parenthood of Northern New England?” 

He replied, “I think that’s something that we could look at…I wouldn’t be opposed to that. I think we could look at that…And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. And if we want to go down that path, that’s surely something that we should definitely look at.”

And during the NH1 gubernatorial debate, Sununu said, “If someone wants to call for an investigation in terms of what Planned Parenthood of Northern New England—that’s the local group that we work with here—if someone wants to call for that, we can look at that, to be sure!”

Nearly 13,000 New Hampshire women rely on Planned Parenthood for health care. In fact, Chris Sununu said it best when he told NHPR—on the same day he voted to defund the women’s health organization—that “in his Seacoast district…Planned Parenthood is the only facility that offers care like low-cost birth control, STD testing and cancer screenings.”

“When will Chris Sununu’s war on women end?” asked NHDP Press Secretary Melissa Miller. “First he defunded the women’s health care organization, and now he wants to investigate it based on a debunked conspiracy. It’s sadly just the latest example of Sununu putting his far-right political ideology ahead of the well-being and interests of New Hampshire families.”

NH1 Senate Debate Roundup: Ayotte, Rubens Spar Over Who is More Anti-Women’s Health

Radical GOP Candidates Support Trump, Defunding Planned Parenthood, Banning Abortion 

CONCORD—Wednesday, Kelly Ayotte and Jim Rubens went head to head in the NH1 primary debate to prove once and for all that they are completely out of step with Granite Staters, who overwhelmingly support access to safe and legal abortion and funding for Planned Parenthood. 

Kelly Ayotte and Jim Rubens leaned hard into their support for Donald Trump, who has said women need a “punishment” for abortion, and their shared desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood. Kelly Ayotte even tried to one-up Ruben’s radical views on women’s health by enthusiastically citing her endorsement from the national Right to Life PAC.

When asked how she would fix the Affordable Care Act, Kelly Ayotte said she is for “patient choice” but neglected to mention that the ACA actually expanded consumer choices in NH (the exchange has grown from one carrier to five since 2015) and the law has provided nearly 100,000 Granite Staters with access to health care coverage. 

“If Kelly Ayotte truly believed in patient choice she wouldn’t have spent her career putting barriers between the women and low-income families who depend on health care access through Planned Parenthood,” said Victoria Bonney, Communications Manager at Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Kelly Ayotte is out of step with New Hampshire’s values and our state’s long tradition of empowering women to live healthy, independent, and productive lives.” 

According to the 2015 American Values Atlas, 73 percent of Granite Staters support access to abortion—the highest rate of support in the nation. Sixty six percent of New Hampshire residents believe Planned Parenthood should be fully funded.

THIS WEEKEND: John Kasich Returns to Granite State to Bolster Anti-Women’s Health Candidates

Chris Sununu, Kelly Ayotte to Receive Support from Governor
Who Made Life a
“Living Hell” for Women in Ohio

Governor John Kasich Caricature  (Image by DonkeyHotey)

Governor John Kasich Caricature
(Image by DonkeyHotey)

CONCORD—This weekend, defeated Republican Presidential candidate and Ohio Governor, John Kasich is coming back to New Hampshire to throw his support behind fellow anti-women’s health candidates, Chris Sununu and Kelly Ayotte.

“What do John Kasich, Chris Sununu, and Kelly Ayotte have in common? All three have used their power to defund Planned Parenthood and obstruct access to health care for thousands of women,” said Victoria Bonney, Communications Manager of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund. “Support for defunding Planned Parenthood may be a shared crusade for John Kasich, Kelly Ayotte, and Chris Sununu, but it’s a losing issue with New Hampshire voters who overwhelmingly believe low-income women and families should have access to lifesaving preventive and reproductive health care.”

As Governor of Ohio, John Kasich has put restrictions on women’s health care that are some of the harshest in the country. His war on women’s health has a long list of offenses. Like Chris Sununu and Kelly Ayotte who have both voted to defund Planned Parenthood, John Kasich is no moderate. Since taking office, he has: 

  • Enacted 18 measures to restrict access to reproductive health care and nearly half of the abortion providers in the state have shuttered.
  • Prohibited rape crisis counselors from telling women that they had the option to access abortion services.
  • Prohibited almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandate ultrasounds before a woman can get an abortion, and require medically unnecessary and burdensome requirements that have shut down health centers.
  • Signed legislation which defunded Planned Parenthood and slashed Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies  a Planned Parenthood program that specifically helped prevent infant mortality — the largest infant mortality prevention program in the state, having served hundreds of  new or expectant mothers in the last year alone. This in spite of the fact that the State of Ohio has the sixth highest infant mortality rate for African Americans in the country and has been ranked the sixth worst state in the country to raise an African-American child.
  • Placed the blame for high rates of infant mortality on black women, saying “the [minority] community itself is going to have to have a better partnership with all of us to begin to solve that
    problem with infant mortality in the minority community, because we’re making gains in the majority community.”
  • Targeted funding for programs for domestic violence prevention, HIV testing, and breast cancer screenings, simply because they were administered through Planned Parenthood health centers.
  • Defunded health care services at Planned Parenthood jeopardizing access to care for  thousands of Ohio patients. 80,000 Ohioans come to Planned Parenthood annually for birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, and other preventive reproductive health care and Kasich’s policies put them at risk. 

And it wasn’t just policy. John Kasich was insulting to women on the campaign trail too:

  • John Kasich insulted women across America by thanking them for leaving “their kitchens” to help knock on doors for his campaign.
  • Earlier on his Presidential campaign, Kasich had a blatantly offensive exchange with a young University of Richmond student who was exercising her civic duty by asking Kasich a question about his policies.  When calling on her, Kasich said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any tickets for Taylor Swift or anything.” 
  • At another campaign stop in Iowa, Mic reported that, while discussing the fiscal responsibilities of elected officials, Kasich singled out a woman in the audience and asked her, “Have you ever been on a diet?”
  • When asked what he would do as president to protect women from domestic violence, John Kasich advised that women should not “go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”

With statements like these it is no wonder women were drawn to his Presidential campaign.  

Van Ostern Highlights That Texas Is Not The Only State Fending Off Attacks On Women’s Health

Dont Take Away My Breast Exams - Image by Charlotte Cooper FLIKR CC

Don’t Take Away My Breast Exams – Image by Charlotte Cooper FLIKR CC

Anti-Choice Legislators In New Hampshire Have Attempted To Pass Similar “Trap Laws” To Those Rejected By The Supreme Court Today 

Van Ostern Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Whole Woman’s Health, Says New Hampshire Shouldn’t Interfere With Family Planning

CONCORD, N.H. – Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that challenged a Texas law designed to restrict a woman’s right to choose.  Legislators in Texas attempted to pass restrictive legislation that would have forced many women’s health centers to close down.  

More commonly known as Trap Laws, this type of  legislation specifically targets clinic doctors and the clinics themselves. In Texas, they mandated that doctors in a clinic that provided abortion services have admitting privileges at a local hospital.  Hospital executives then refuse to give doctors admitting privileges thereby forcing the clinic to shut down.

Colin Van Ostern for Governor campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Copyright 2016 Rob Strong

Colin Van Ostern for Governor campaign event in Concord, New Hampshire on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Copyright 2016 Rob Strong

Executive Councilor and Democratic candidate for Governor, Colin Van Ostern praised the Supreme Court’s ruling and spoke out against the attacks by Republicans in the NH Executive Council who are attempting to close women’s health centers in New Hampshire by defund Planned Parenthood. 

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court reminded us once again that a woman’s right to her own health care decisions should be left to her and her health care provider, without politicians getting in the way,” said Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. “On Wednesday, New Hampshire’s Executive Council now has the chance to follow the Supreme Court’s lead by restoring state funding for birth control, cancer screenings, and annual exams that was shut off last summer by Chris Sununu and two other men despite its broad bipartisan support. It’s time to right this wrong and restore these funds.”

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Executive Council will consider whether to restore funding for essential and lifesaving health services for 13,000 families.

Van Ostern has pledged to vote to restore funding for these critical health services made available through Planned Parenthood and other providers. In 2015, he was recognized for his leadership on women’s health issues by NARAL Pro-Choice NH and was named the state’s “Champion for Choice.”

Most recently, Van Ostern and Councilor Chris Pappas sent a letter to the three Republican Councilors urging them to reconsider their opposition to women’s health services.

Mark Connolly, also a candidate for Governor, sent an open letter to Councilor Sununu urging him to support the upcoming Planned Parenthood contract.

While the vote in the Executive Council tomorrow is specifically about funding Planned Parenthood health centers, it is only one of the many attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights in New Hampshire.

In recent years, an extreme group of New Hampshire legislators have repeatedly introduced legislation that mirrors the unconstitutional provisions in the Texas law struck down today, including burdensome clinic regulations, waiting periods and admitting privilege requirements. There were sixteen (16) bills filed in the 2016 legislative session to restrict access to safe, legal abortion and other reproductive care. All of these bills faced bipartisan defeat in either the New Hampshire House or Senate.

Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of NH Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the Supreme Court decision while highlighting how legislators right here in New Hampshire are passing legislation similar to HB2 in Texas to restrict women’s access to safe, legal abortions.

“Today is a great day for women’s health. The Supreme Court has made it clear that politicians cannot pass laws which block access to safe, legal abortion,” said Frizzell. “An extreme group of New Hampshire legislators has been attempting to punish women and doctors for receiving or providing essential medical care by introducing legislation we now know to be unconstitutional.”

“We will continue to fight restrictions on safe, legal abortion on behalf of our patients in New Hampshire,” Frizzell added.

A PerryUndem poll commissioned by Vox found that the majority of Americans oppose restrictions meant to shutter health centers or make it more difficult for women to access abortion, and that 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be hosting a “rally in pink” to urge Councilors to restore funding to Planned Parenthood prior to the Executive Council meeting on June 29th at 9am.
(More details on PPAF’s Facebook Event)

Also take a few seconds to sign the petition urging Executive Councilor to restore funding for Planned Parenthood health centers.


Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund Members Protest Kelly Ayotte Filing for US Senate

Planned Parenthood Protest of AyotteConcord, NH – Kelly Ayotte was met with Planned Parenthood Action Fund members and supporters who are sick and tired of Kelly Ayotte. Kelly Ayotte has an extensive record of voting to restrict women’s access to the full range of health care services. This includes multiple votes to block patients from birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. In New Hampshire, Planned Parenthood provided thousands of breast exams and thousands with birth control, administered nearly 20,000 STI tests, over 1,000 Pap tests, and engaged in sex education and outreach to nearly 2,000 individuals in 2015 alone. Both Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Action Fund have endorsed Maggie Hassan for US Senate. 

Statement from Kayla McCarthy, Advocacy and Organizing Manager of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

“This election is about New Hampshire women being able to make their own choices about their health care, their economic situation, and their futures. It is clear to us, and to the thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters in New Hampshire that, if she was re-elected, Kelly Ayotte would do nothing more than continue her six years of trying to ban safe, legal abortion and block access to lifesaving services that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England provides. 

“Kelly Ayotte has also aligned herself with Donald Trump –– the same guy who ranted about punishing women and doctors for accessing or providing safe, legal abortion. Kelly Ayotte has gone as far to hold up a Supreme Court nomination in hopes that Donald Trump will be elected president and appoint a Supreme Court Justice. New Hampshire wants a leader who will fight for reproductive health care and rights –– Kelly Ayotte is flat-out not that leader.” 

Planned Parenthood Protest of Ayotte2In New Hampshire, 59 percent of voters believe that the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled this year, compared to only 36 percent who do not. Among independents, 60 percent believe the seat should be filled. On the issue of abortion, New Hampshire voters are overwhelmingly supportive of access to abortion. Even among GOP voters in New Hampshire, a plurality describe themselves as “pro-choice.” 

A recent poll from  WBUR showed that 33% of New Hampshire voters said they are less likely to vote for Kelly Ayotte because she supports Donald Trump.

Ayotte has a long history of restricting women’s access to a full range of health care: 

  • Ayotte voted four times to restrict patient access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers (which offer  lifesaving breast cancer screenings, HIV tests, and birth control);
  • Ayotte voted against two amendments that would have restored patient access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers;
  • Ayotte voted for extreme restrictions on abortion that would tie doctor’s hands in the most complex circumstances; 
  • Ayotte vowed to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which gave access to no-copay birth control to more than 55 million Americans;
  • Ayotte opposed funding for women’s health nurse practitioners and the nation’s family planning program.


Planned Parenthood Votes Releases Scathing New Ad Targeting Kelly Ayotte

Kelly Ayotte PPNNE AD“Enough is enough. Kelly Ayotte’s bad politics could have repercussions for a lifetime.” 

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Votes has gone on-air with its first ad buy of the 2016 Senatorial election cycle — a nearly $400,000 TV ad buy hitting New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte on her abysmal record on women’s health, and her obstruction of the Supreme Court nomination process.


The ad, “Lifetime,” focuses on Kelly Ayotte’s long-time opposition to reproductive health, in particular her previous assertion that the right to safe, legal abortion should be overturned, and that it should be done via the Supreme Court. The ad is paid for by Planned Parenthood Votes, a national independent expenditure political committee. Though Planned Parenthood Votes has previously gone on-air in the 2016 presidential election, this is the committee’s first time going on air for a senate race in the 2016 cycle. It will be running on broadcast and cable in New Hampshire. 

Kelly Ayotte is one of the key Senators preemptively calling to block the president’s Supreme Court nominee before ever holding a hearing. While she has met with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, Kelly Ayotte is still refusing to do her job and give the president’s nominee a fair hearing with an up-or-down vote. The American people deserve a full court and a justice appointed by the president they elected for four years — not three—and Kelly Ayotte’s extreme position abdicating her constitutional duty in order to obstruct the creation of a fully functional branch of our government is unconscionable.

Kelly Ayotte has voted repeatedly to “defund” Planned Parenthood, and has even voted against equal pay legislation. This Senator has spent years calling for an end to safe, legal abortion and for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and even went so far as to circulate a letter urging support for a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks that included extreme provisions for rape survivors. Furthermore, Kelly Ayotte won’t protect access to birth control coverage, and proposed a plan that would make more women pay for birth control by undermining the health law that gave nearly 300,000 New Hampshire women access to no-copay birth control.

Statement from Deirdre Schifeling, Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Votes:

“Kelly Ayotte may try to paint herself as pro-woman, but her record tells a very different story. Every chance she’s gotten she’s voted to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood and cut women off from essential health care like birth control and breast and cervical cancer screenings. She has been advocating for years to ban women’s access to safe, legal abortion, and it’s clear she now sees her chance in the Supreme Court process. Kelly Ayotte is refusing to do her job, and abdicating her constitutional duty, in order to push an extreme agenda that no one in New Hampshire wants. Enough is enough. Kelly Ayotte’s bad politics could have repercussions for a lifetime.”

Statement from Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President, Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund:

“Kelly Ayotte continues to advance an extreme agenda which would deprive New Hampshire women of critical reproductive health services in direct contrast to the wishes of the citizens of New Hampshire who demonstrate strong bipartisan support for access to safe, legal abortion and for access to Planned Parenthood health services. Ayotte’s latest obstruction in refusing to even consider the President’s Supreme Court nominee will have real life consequences for New Hampshire women and could jeopardize access to safe and legal abortion for women across this country for generations to come.”

Kelly Ayotte is facing a contentious race to keep her Senate seat this fall, which is understandable considering her record in New Hampshire includes voting to make college more expensive and voting to repeal health coverage for nearly 50,000 Granite Staters.

According to the polls, Ayotte’s dismal record of voting consistently to “defund” Planned Parenthood will have an even more negative impact on her already at-risk Senate race. 

A survey conducted in 2015 by Hart Research shows that voters in the battleground state of New Hampshire strongly support Planned Parenthood, and oppose Ayotte’s position to “defund” the organization — blocking patients who rely on federal funding from accessing preventive health services, including the cancer screenings and family planning services like birth control that Planned Parenthood provides to millions of women in communities across the country.

Key findings from the survey includes:

  • 66 percent of New Hampshire voters oppose blocking patients from accessing Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services, including 72 percent of Independents.
  • 75 percent of voter polled in New Hampshire, including majorities of Republican voters, have an unfavorable reaction to the idea of shutting down the federal government to block any funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • By a two to one margin, voters in battleground states including New Hampshire are less likely to vote to re-elect their senators if they vote to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.

Fourteen separate national polls conducted since last June show strong support for Planned Parenthood and extraordinarily strong opposition to blocking patients from care.

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