(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) today held a press conference with Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) in Concord to discuss what’s at stake for women’s reproductive health in New Hampshire if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The delegation responded to last week’s draft opinion from the Supreme Court and discussed the need to preserve women’s access to essential health care and family planning services.
“I remember what it was like before Roe – I knew women who sought back-alley abortions and put their lives in danger. It’s chilling that we are now on the cusp of seeing these hard-fought rights rolled back and losing what generations of women worked to secure. We may soon see women across the country – particularly low-income women and women of color – bear the brunt of the devastating consequences if Roe is overturned,” said Senator Shaheen. “Today and every day, I’m incredibly proud to stand with Planned Parenthood and abortion providers across the state to defend reproductive freedom for Granite Staters. New Hampshire Republicans are attacking women’s health and reproductive rights by imposing an abortion ban and costly, unnecessary ultrasounds, with doctors even facing jail-time for helping women access abortion. These grave violations of women’s privacy and health have no place in the Granite State. In New Hampshire, we support women. We trust women. And we will fight for them – both at the ballot box this November and beyond.”
"For the last 50 years, Roe has protected a woman’s right to access a safe and legal abortion -- giving her the ability to decide if and when to start a family, and protecting a woman’s health, safety, and economic freedom. At the same time, partisan politicians have, for 50 years, chipped away at the rights protected by Roe -- marginalizing women, interfering with their privacy, and putting government in the way of the most incredibly personal decision that a woman can make. The Supreme Court ruling – if it moves forward – would be the culmination of those attacks,” said Senator Hassan. “We can’t go backward and we must continue raising our voices and laying out the facts of what exactly is at stake.”
“Decisions about when and how to start a family should be between patients and their doctors, not the government,” said Rep. Kuster. “Sadly, the draft opinion from the Supreme Court makes clear the conservative majority's intention to take personal medical decisions out of the hands of women even in the most extreme and sensitive cases like rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. As an adoption attorney for 25 years, I worked with hundreds of birth mothers, helping them make the most personal and private decisions of their lives — not one of them turned to the government to make that choice for them. Granite Staters overwhelmingly oppose overturning Roe v. Wade and they believe its near 50-year precedent securing the constitutional right to abortion should be protected. New Hampshire is a pro-choice state, and I stand resolute in my commitment to protecting the right to abortion and defending the rights of women to make their own reproductive choices.”
“Overturning Roe has been a stated goal of Republicans in Washington for decades. And as the Court considers this decision we know Republican lawmakers are strategizing around how to enact a national abortion ban and state laws that would go as far as to ban contraception and criminalize all abortion, even in cases of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, moving us toward a situation where there would be government mandated pregnancy in America. We will not allow this to happen,” said Rep. Pappas. “If the Supreme Court won’t defend reproductive freedom, then we must answer the call of the vast majority of Americans who support the right to choose and pass legislation in Congress to codify Roe v. Wade.”
"We talk about freedom, but freedom for women starts with being able to make our own health care decisions. The ability to plan, prevent, and space our pregnancies is critical to making healthy moms, healthy babies, and healthy families. Those freedoms are in jeopardy – and we need courageous leaders who will put our communities first,” said Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. “We all need to find our voice. We all need to speak. We must fight to protect our fundamental rights here in New Hampshire. No matter what happens nationally, we will fight to make sure our freedom to make reproductive health
“We are at a crisis moment for abortion access and we don’t have a moment to spare. At Planned Parenthood, we know that banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion care. Patients who need abortion should not face the shame and overwhelming hurdles that will ultimately come from this decision. From the ballot box to the halls of the State House to our health centers, we will do everything we can to help those patients get abortion care safely - no matter what,” said Sara Persechino, Campaigns and Communications Director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
The New Hampshire Congressional delegation members are unrelenting advocates for women’s reproductive rights. In March, Shaheen, Hassan and Pappas joined U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra in Manchester for a meeting with New Hampshire family planning providers amid continued attacks from State and Congressional Republicans, including the abortion ban and costly, unnecessary ultrasound mandate signed into law. The delegation has pushed for Title X funding, and in January, the New Hampshire Congressional delegation applauded a $500,000 Title X Dire Need Grant award through HHS for PPNNE. For years, Shaheen has fought to expand coverage of women’s preventative care, including through her legislation to reduce the cost of contraception for servicewomen and dependents in military families. Senator Hassan has led efforts to support women’s reproductive freedom, including leading efforts to crack down on insurance companies that illegally deny women access to birth control.