Shaheen Statement Ahead of Oral Arguments in Crucial SCOTUS Case Threatening Roe v. Wade

December 01, 2021

Shaheen’s comments follow a press conference she and members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation held on Monday, underscoring the implications of the Supreme Court case, which could overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to criminalize abortion.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement ahead of the oral arguments commencing in the Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has been described as one of the most consequential abortion cases in nearly 50 years – a decision which could pave the way for states to criminalize abortions. If the Court overturns Roe. V. Wade, eighteen states will immediately ban abortions in their state. On Monday, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation held a press conference underscoring the implications of the Supreme Court case and the detrimental impact it would have on Granite State women and women throughout the United States.

“It is jarring that in 2021 – more than 50 years since Roe v. Wade determined the U.S. Constitution protects women’s personal health decisions – extreme Republican ideology is still coming after women and their bodies,” said Shaheen. “Outlawing abortions does not reduce them – it makes them more dangerous and can cost women their health and potentially their lives. The infringement on women’s privacy and health is egregious and has no place in the United States. No legislature should be allowed to tell women how and when to start their families. The types of laws we’ve seen enacted in Texas and other states around the country resemble what you’d find in authoritarian countries – the government deciding when women need ultrasounds, lawmakers threatening doctors with prison time for providing health care and neighbors reporting on each other if they suspect someone has had an abortion.”

She continued, “Let’s be clear: if we were talking about men’s bodies, none of this would be up for discussion. As the Supreme Court begins oral arguments today and the future of Roe and access to abortion across the nation hangs in the balance, Americans must resoundingly say that we will not go back. I was stunned this year when I saw this extreme, out-of-touch ideology find its way into the New Hampshire State House, which demonstrates the reach of these shameful policies and attacks. Today and always, I am committed to defending women’s reproductive rights so our daughters and granddaughters aren’t forced to live under the same restrictions their mothers and grandmothers ended five decades ago.”

In New Hampshire, there is no proactive protection to abortion access in state law. Until recently, the New Hampshire legislature enjoyed a longstanding bipartisan commitment to upholding privacy around personal medical decisions. In fact, in 1997, Shaheen, as Governor of New Hampshire, repealed the only pre-Roe law on the books with the support of Republican majorities. But New Hampshire is now facing unprecedented threats to reproductive rights at the state-level.

In September, the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to terminate contracts for family planning providers across the state. In response, Shaheen and the congressional delegation hosted a press event in September with representatives from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Equality Health Center and Lovering Health Center to discuss the dangerous consequences of the council’s vote. The press event followed the delegation’s letter to the Biden administration calling for the swift distribution of supplemental assistance directly to providers impacted by the Executive Council’s decision. 

The Executive Council’s vote is particularly egregious as it follows years of the Trump administration’s attacks on women’s reproductive health, most notably, President Trump’s implementation of the “Title X Gag Rule,” which shut out the majority of New Hampshire family planning providers from receiving federal grants. Shaheen and the delegation welcomed an announcement last month from the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would approve a rule change to reverse the Title X Gag Rule and help bridge the gap in funding for providers. In June, Senator Shaheen sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to provide support to New Hampshire family planning providers who will lose state funding under the New Hampshire budget bill.

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