News Abortion

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Bill That Could Have Threatened In Vitro Fertilization

Robin Marty

HB 217 would have redefined fetus in a way that could have prohibited the destruction of extra embryos.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has vetoed HB 217, an anti-choice bill so vague and expansive bill that it could have given full rights of personhood even to embryos created during in-vitro fertilization:

I support legislation that would establish these criminal penalties for the death of a fetus, provided that criminal liability is triggered only if the fetus was deemed to be “viable” and that the legislation was based upon sound medical science. HB 217 fails to meet that standard. This bill would make it difficult for New Hampshire residents to obtain fertility treatments and unreasonably restricts a woman’s rights during pregnancy. For these reasons and because this bill fails to contain a “viability” standard, I am vetoing HB 217.

Those who opposed the bill cited that the definition of “fetus” could possibly be vague enough include any stage post-fertilization. Resolve New England, an infertility advocacy group, expressed concern that if the bill passed it could make discarding embryos a criminal offense. The group thanked the governor for the veto, and also commended those who pressured the governor, stating:

We applaud the aggressive, tireless grassroots advocacy effort by our members, colleagues and volunteers who championed for the infertility community of New Hampshire over the past month. It is through our combined efforts we were able to defeat this damaging legislation and help protect IVF in the state of New Hampshire. RESOLVE New England remains opposed to any and all forms of legislation that may pose a direct threat or barrier to fertility treatments needed by as many as 7.3 million Americans living with infertility.

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The veto is Lynch’s second this week.  Earlier, he vetoed a bill that would ban so-called “partial birth abortion,” calling it redundant.

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