MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Monday, female supporters of U.S. Representative Chris Pappas (D-NH-01) gathered in the Millyard to express their concern over potential attacks on reproductive rights if New Hampshire First Congressional District Republican Nominee Karoline Leavitt is elected.
Kristen Bannister, an OBGYN from Bedford, says that concerns after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision and attempts by the New Hampshire Executive Council to defund Planned Parenthood have created fear and confusion that impacts women’s health.
Bannister specifically attacked comments made by Leavitt that attacks on abortion would not impact Leavitt specifically as a woman, saying that Leavitt does not understand the science behind fetal anomalies.
“No one knows what their ultimate decision will be about abortion until they are forced to make it, it is personal, it is individual and it is gut-wrenching,” said Bannister. “I am a physician and the relationship between me and my patients is sacred. Healthcare decisions are very personal for patients and their families, so why would I want a politician with no medical training and no connection to my patients to interfere with that?”
New Hampshire State Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), State Representative Alexis Simpson (D-Exeter) and Manchester Ward 4 Alderman Christine Fajardo echoed Bannister’s sentiments, claiming that Leavitt’s claims that she wants to leave the issue of abortion to state legislatures actually means she wants state legislatures to pass laws that would legally threaten doctors, endanger women’s health and allow men to block pregnant women from accessing abortion care.
Soucy said that the top issue she has heard from voters not registered as Democrats or Republicans this election season is abortion, although often in terms of the costs of raising an unexpected child might have on a household.
“I’ve knocked on over a thousand doors in my district and the number one issue raised by both men and women is abortion. They might call it women’s rights, they might call it the right to choose. Some others have talked about inflation and some have talked about electric rates, but the number one issue when I’ve knocked on someone’s door and asked the very open-ended question, ‘what’s going to drive you to the polls?’ That issue for voters in my district is abortion,” she said.