Today, Governor Sununu signed HB 1609 into law, which reduces the harm done by the abortion ban he signed into law last year that banned abortions at 24 weeks and required an ultrasound for all abortions at all stages, regardless of best medical practice. The new law adds an exception to the 24-week abortion ban for fatal fetal anomalies, and it reduces mandated ultrasounds to only apply to abortions at or near 24 weeks.
The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation (NHWF) testified in favor of this bill, underscoring that the absence of an exception for fatal fetal anomalies is particularly cruel, and it does not allow individuals and families with very complex medical diagnoses the opportunity to make decisions right for their family. The ultrasound mandate contributed to a culture of shame and stigma, did not allow doctors to make trauma-informed decisions, and reduced access to health care against best medical practice. This session, NHWF advocated for the abortion ban to be repealed entirely, and while the majority of legislators refused to do so, we also advocated for HB 1609, which reduces the harm of the abortion ban, and we celebrate its passage.
We applaud the courageous women who shared their abortion stories with New Hampshire legislators. These brave storytellers, sharing their lived experiences, are the reason that enough legislators changed their minds. They are the reason this bill passed.
Read our full testimony on this bill and other NHWF 2022 Legislative Priorities here: