CONCORD, N.H. – On Thursday morning, the Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and other reproductive rights supporters held an event in the lobby of the New Hampshire Legislative Office Building advocating for the Access to Abortion Care Act.
Upon the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, participants in the event stated that chaos has descended upon America as the abortion access protections provided by Roe v. Wade have been replaced by a patchwork of abortion laws across the United States now that it has been overturned.
Supporters expressed concern that New Hampshire’s law, which currently prohibits abortion 24 weeks after conception, is a stepping stone to more restrictive abortion laws given that some other states with less access to abortion services began with 24-week laws and New Hampshire is the only New England state without explicit protections for abortion.
Senator Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka (D-Portsmouth), one of the bill’s co-sponsors and the prime sponsor of an upcoming senate version of the bill, said that action is needed now to protect access to reproductive care now that Roe is gone, something that has delayed action on comparable versions of this legislation in previous legislative sessions.
“When we considered this legislation last session, some of my colleagues said we needed to wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in before we act. For many, a world without Roe seemed impossible. For many more still, the idea that abortion could never be illegal seemed impossible,” said Kwoka. “I would say look at the devastating impact that has come. This decision has already across the country seen millions lose their rights in a blink of an eye. I for one am not willing to wait and see any longer.”
Other concerns included civil and criminal penalties that could reduce the number of doctors willing to productive reproductive health services and attacks on reproductive education services that can cause confusion and concern.
Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund Vice President for Public Affairs Kayla Montgomery said that opponents of reproductive rights sought to sow “despair and darkness” around access to abortion and other reproductive health services, she is confident that this bill can pass given the opposition to abortion bans across the country.
“Abortion is essential. Period,” she said.