Micaiah Bilger wrote: Mar 10, 2017
Late-term abortions currently are legal for any reason up to birth in New Hampshire. State House Bill 578, sponsored by Rep. Keith Murphy, a Republican, would have prohibited abortions on unborn babies who are viable outside the womb.
“The New Hampshire Househad a chance to stand with Murphy. The House refused,”pro-life blogger Ellen Kolb wrote this week at Leaven for the Loaf.
Murphy’s clean bill, the one he introduced, was weakened in committee. The clean bill never came up today. The question before the House was whether to adopt the committee amendment, which while inferior to the original bill, kept alive (you’ll pardon the expression) the idea that aborting children at eight or nine months’ gestation is something to be more-or-less avoided.
The amendment was defeated, 170-189. After that, the bill itself was swiftly tabled.
The amendment would have allowed late-term abortions after viability if the baby is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly or deemed “incompatible with life,” according to her report. It also would have removed a requirement that a second doctor to be present at a late-term abortion in the chance that the baby was born alive, according to Kolb.
On Facebook after the vote,Rep. Murphy slammed the Republicans who voted against the late-term abortion ban.
“As a result of the vote, NH remains one of the seven states to allow abortions right up to the moment of birth,” Murphywrote, listing the names of 30 Republicans and one Libertarian who helped to defeat the bill.
“A few of these people voted against the committee amendment because they felt it didn’t go far enough,” Murphy continued. “… Most simply opposed the state protecting the lives of unborn children at any moment prior to birth, even when those children could survive outside the womb.”
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He called for a defeat of Republicans who stray from the party’s pro-life platform in the next election and urged that they be replaced with lawmakers willing to protect unborn babies’ lives.
“I truly believe lives hung in the balance and because of the above representatives, those lives are lost,”he concluded.
There is a slim chance that the bill could be considered again.
Kolb noted, “The man who moved to table the bill following rejection of the amendment was Rep. Joe Hagan, chairman of Judiciary, who in very hasty remarks indicated that he thought the bill was salvageable.”
However, both Kolb and Murphy expressed strong doubts about this possibility, because state lawmakers did not even support a weakened form of it.
March 9 at 8:01pm
The following Republicans crossed over and voted with the Democrats to ensure the post-viability abortion ban was defeated today. As a result of this vote, NH remains one of the seven states to allow abortions right up to the moment of birth.
Also Caleb Dyer,elected as a Republican but now a registered Libertarian.
A few of these people voted against the committee amendment because they felt it didn't go far enough. One or two are frankly senile and had no idea what they were doing. Most simply opposed the state protecting the lives of unborn children at any moment prior to birth, even when those children could survive outside the womb.
I will not sponsor this bill again until and unless there is both a solid majority of real Republicans who will support it and a commitment by the pro-life community to drum up support and educate the public about the fact that late term abortions are legal in our state. Ultimately those Republicans who find nothing wrong with abortions at 34 weeks need to be defeated in their next primary and replaced with people true to our platform.
I appreciate the work that several reps put into the bill, and those of you that did try to get emails out to the representatives about the issue. I especially want to thank Beth Scaer, Ellen Kolb,and Shannon McGinley for their help in getting the word out in the final days.
This was the bill I cared about most this year. It was the most consequential bill I filed, and I worked for it. I'm pretty disappointed with the outcome; I truly believe lives hung in the balance and because of the above representatives those lives are lost.
(edited to add asterisks by names of pro-life reps that voted against the amendment out of confusion or because it watered down the original bill).