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New Hampshire House narrowly defeats proposal to place constitutional amendment enshrining abortion on the ballot

by | Feb 2, 2024

 By Dave Andrusko

New Hampshire State Rep. Katelyn Kuttab

New Hampshire is not exactly a bastion of pro-life sentiment. The narrow defeat of a bill to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution tells us they are close to victory in the Granite State going forward.

Proponents voted 193-184 in favor of the proposal, CACR 23, “but did not reach the three-fifths majority needed for passage of the proposed constitutional amendment,” Rick Green reported for The Keene Sentinel.

What anyone and everyone could see, however, was a photo on the front page of The Keene Sentinel of Democratic State Rep. Amanda Toll, holding and rocking her newborn baby, Daniella, as she asked the House on Thursday to support CACR 23. As always is the case, the proposal is supposedly “moderate.”

“Toll’s proposal called for putting a measure on the statewide ballot to amend the state constitution, adding that abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks, and later in pregnancy if the procedure is necessary in a doctor’s opinion,” Green reported for The Keene Sentinel.

So up to “24 weeks and later” if the abortionists says it’s “necessary.” This doesn’t pass the straight face test.

New Hampshire already has a law, enacted in 2021, that “bans the procedure after 24 weeks, except in circumstances where the fetus has a fatal defect or the woman’s life is in danger,” wrote Green, the Statehouse Reporter for The Keene Sentinel.

But, Toll said, “It would be harder for lawmakers to place further restrictions on abortion if rights to the procedure are spelled out in the constitution.”

Toll said it was a challenge to speak just one week after giving birth, but noted, according to Green’s reporting, that having her third child “has reinvigorated my commitment to making sure every Granite Stater, including Daniella, has the right to make their own reproductive decisions.”
It would be asking too much to expect Toll to ponder what the optics say to the average citizen of New Hampshire.

Finally, according to Green,

Katelyn Kuttab, R-Windham, asked representatives to reject the measure, saying it was vaguely worded.

CACR 23 sought to add wording to the constitution that “Every individual has a fundamental right to abortion.”

Kuttab said this passage could be interpreted to mean that a man could have the right to demand that a woman he impregnated have an abortion.

She also objected to wording in the proposal abortions after 24 weeks would be allowed if deemed necessary by a doctor.

“It is unspecific as to what necessary means and would enshrine a vague standard into our constitution,” Kuttab said. “Necessary could allow an abortion to be performed right up until birth simply because a woman wanted one and a doctor felt it was necessary to honor that wish.”

Categories: State Legislation