The Bulletin Board

Sununu sends letter in support of scaling back abortion ban to House committee

By: - January 18, 2022 11:37 am
Gov. Chris Sununu

Gov. Chris Sununu is scheduled to speak on Thursday at 10 a.m. (Courtesy)

This story was updated Jan. 18, 2022 at 2:50 p.m. to include testimony given at public hearing on the bill.

Gov. Chris Sununu put in writing what he has said for months: He “strongly supports” scaling back the state’s new 24-week abortion ban to allow exceptions for rape, sexual assault, incest, and fatal fetal anomalies. 

In his letter to the House Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee, Sununu said he also favors expanding exceptions to include the health of the mother and eliminating the ultrasound requirement as proposed in Republican-backed House Bill 1609.

House leadership voiced opposition to the bill Tuesday. Saying he was speaking for the House Majority Office, Rep. Leonard Turcotte, a Barrington Republican, asked the committee during a public hearing Tuesday to find the bill inexpedient to legislate.

The bill is one of three going before lawmakers this week. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings on Senate Bill 399 seeking to repeal the abortion ban and Senate Bill 436, which would enshrine the right to an abortion in state law regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in two cases challenging Roe v. Wade.

In his letter to the committee, Sununu continued to express support for a ban on abortions after 24 weeks, which was included in last year’s budget. He said he could not veto the budget over the new law, but supported making the “necessary corrections” proposed in HB 1609.

“These measures are not extreme by any stretch of the imagination,” Sununu wrote. “These are all or in part consistent with many other states around the nation. We must ensure that access to services remain safe and accessible in the Granite State during what is a rare but extremely difficult and stressful time for a woman and her family.” 

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.