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New Hampshire Conservative Action Group Unveils Heartbeat Ban Plan For Next Year’s Session

Robin Marty

Think the war on women is over in the state once the election is over?  Think again.

Last year, New Hampshire’s Executive Council defunded Planned Parenthood, while its legislature debated waiting periods, late abortion bans and extended conscience clauses.

For socially conservative Cornerstone Action Group, that’s just a preview for 2013. The “traditional values” organization has unveiled its plans for the next session, and once more their key issues are ending health care reform, granting legal rights to fertilized eggs, and put even more barriers between a woman and her medical decisions.

Protect innocent human life from conception to natural death.

  • Require abortion clinics and hospitals to report abortion statistics, adding N.H. to the list of 46 other states that currently require such reporting.
  • Pass the “Fetal Homicide Act,” which defines “fetal homicide” as criminal assaults on a pregnant woman that result in miscarriage, stillbirth or “damage to a pregnancy” as an enhanced offense for sentencing purposes.
  • Pass the Women’s Right to Know Act, which requires physicians to provide a woman considering the procedure with medically accurate information about her child and the abortion method that would be used as well as the long-term risks of having an abortion and alternatives to having an abortion.
  • Pass the “Rights of Motherhood Act,” which bans coerced abortions.
  • Pass the “Abortion Drug Safety Act,” and add N.H. to the list of 40 other states that require a prescription for drugs such as RU-486.
  • Pass “The Heartbeat Act,” which protects unborn children who have a detectable heartbeat.
  • Continue to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions.
  • Ensure that surgical abortions are performed by a licensed physician (as they are in 43 other states) and that abortion clinics are regulated under the same standards as other ambulatory centers or health clinics.

The informed consent and TRAP proposals are fairly run-of-the-mill at this point.  But what is more surprising is its announcement of intention to push a “heartbeat” ban, which could potentially limit abortion before many women are certain that they are pregnant.

Heartbeat bans have had fared poorly in state legislatures so far. Mississippi’s proposed measure died when the senate chairman twice refused to let it out of committee, calling it unconstitutional, even once it was tacked onto another more popular bill. In Ohio, the bill also failed to make it to a senate vote, causing a large schism in the anti-choice community over whether or not efforts should be put into backing a bill that so clearly was meant to challenge Roe v. Wade.

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That this would be one of the priorities of Cornerstone makes it likely that New Hampshire won’t be the only state to try and push a heartbeat ban through the legislature once the election is over.

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Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

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