ICYMI – Shaheen Leads NH Delegation in Press Conference on Consequences of Pivotal Court Case Threatening Roe v. Wade with NH Health Care ProvidersNovember 30, 2021
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) held a virtual press conference with health care stakeholders to discuss what the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization's challenge to Roe v. Wade means for New Hampshire women and their health care. The Supreme Court will begin oral arguments around this pivotal case – described as the most influential abortion case in nearly 50 years – on December 1st. If the Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eighteen states will immediately ban abortions in their state with more to likely follow. In September, Shaheen joined a bicameral amicus brief in the case, urging the Supreme Court to uphold nearly 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Wade and protect the constitutional right to abortion care.
The delegation discussed how essential Roe v. Wade is for women’s health and autonomy, as well as the security of generations of families. They also highlighted the recent, unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights in the Granite State – from the Governor signing into law an abortion ban to the Executive Council denying funding to family planning providers – that only further endanger women if the Supreme Court gets this ruling wrong.
More on that below:
The full congressional delegation said nearly 50 years of abortion rights established in the Roe vs. Wade decision could be overturned.
"The attempt to have state control of our personal health really is what we would see in an authoritarian state," said U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire. "It's not what we would expect in New Hampshire."
The delegation said they believe the country will not accept a ruling that turns back the clock on women's rights.
Before Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, said college friends of hers seeking abortions had to attend illegal health providers for treatment.
“We do not want to go back to that kind of situation,” she said Monday morning. “That is not good for women, it’s not good for families, and it’s not good for men, ultimately.”
The state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation attacked the state’s new abortion ban law and said a U.S, Supreme Court case this week could lead to further restrictions in the future.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said these bans and cuts in state family planning grants for New Hampshire abortion providers will lead to more unplanned pregnancies and put more women at risk.
As the nation’s highest court prepares to hear a case that challenges Roe vs. Wade, New Hampshire’s all-Democratic congressional delegation is again calling attention to what they see as the eroding right to abortion in New Hampshire.
In a Zoom news conference, the Democrats all pointed to New Hampshire’s new law outlawing abortion at 24 weeks and requiring ultrasounds for all abortions as a blow to women’s rights.
Dalia Vidunas, executive director of the Equality Health Center in Concord, said she’s also seen anger. One patient came to the clinic with research showing that abortions have been performed for over 4,000 years, she said.
“We’ve been downtrodden for over 4,000 years,” Vidunas recalled the woman saying. “Can’t they just stop? Can’t we just rely on our own bodies? Can’t we just finally be trusted that we know what we need to do for ourselves?”
U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen were among those on a Zoom press conference to talk about what might happen following a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday.
Senator Shaheen called the case "the biggest threat to overturning Roe V. Wade in the history of that decision."
“Roe v. Wade isn’t just a decision that impacts women, their health and their financial security – it also impacts generations of families. And it’s devastating to see that extreme ideology find its way to the New Hampshire State House, first through the budget that the Governor signed into law and more recently with the Executive Council’s decision to deny crucial funding to the providers that offer the majority of family planning services in the Granite State,” said Senator Shaheen.
“Here’s the truth – one in four women of reproductive age in this country has had an abortion. Everyone knows and loves someone who has had an abortion. An individual’s ability to access this care is a matter of equality and liberty. But we are at a crisis moment for abortion rights: the threat to the constitutional right to an abortion has never been greater in our country,” said Kayla Montgomery, Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England/Planned Parenthood NH Action Fund.
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