By Elisha Brown
Several New Hampshire Republicans joined Democratic House lawmakers last week to vote for abortion access and reject restrictions, according to our colleagues at the New Hampshire Bulletin.
While the lower chamber successfully passed a fatal fetal anomaly exception for abortions after 24 weeks and a bill that would bar further abortion restrictions, the bipartisanship on one proposal ultimately resulted in a stalemate. A bill that would have repealed the 24-week ban ended in a 192-192 tie, with five Republicans supporting the measure.
Some bipartisanship in Congress: Last week, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, reintroduced the Mothers and Newborns Success Act, a bill that aims to increase data collection of maternal and infant health issues.
“Despite improvements over the years, far too many women still face significant disparities in maternal health outcomes including pregnancy-related death, high maternal mortality, and other maternal health conditions. It’s a heartbreaking reality that Alaska Native women and expecting mothers in rural communities face even worse maternal health outcomes,” Murkowski, who supports abortion rights, said in a statement Thursday.
In the states, an abortion clinic near the New Mexico-Texas border opened its doors Friday, widening access for Southwesterners, and in Nevada, Democrats want to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution.
THE BEAT States Newsroom coverage
New Hampshire House passes pro-abortion rights bills, sinks restrictions
A bill that removes criminal and civil penalties from New Hampshire’s 24-week abortion ban passed in the House last week, New Hampshire Bulletin reported. Sixteen Republicans supported House Bill 224, and medical providers stressed to lawmakers abortions after 24 weeks are rare, unless a fetal anomaly diagnosis renders the chance of survival after birth unviable.
Republicans also helped forward House Bill 88, which would bar the state from enacting further abortion restrictions. While a majority of representatives also voted in favor of a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights, the proposal fell short of the three-fifths vote requirement needed to pass.The House also voted against a six-week abortion ban and bill that would have required abortion seekers to wait 24 hours before receiving care.
New abortion clinic opens in New Mexico
Whole Woman’s Health opened an abortion clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico after four of the reproductive health organization’s clinics closed in Texas last year, according to Source New Mexico. The clinic initially wanted to open facilities near the Texas-New Mexico border, but conservative-leaning cities passed anti-abortion access ordinances that would impede operations. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham recently signed a measure into law to overrule those local ordinances, but officials in Clovis and Hobbs plan to fight the enforcement.
New Mexico, which recently passed protections for abortion providers, is a critical access point for abortion seekers in Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma, states with varying abortion bans. Whole Woman’s Health raised $300,000 to open up the new location. The facility will provide abortion for up to 18 weeks gestation for now and is located near an airport.
Nevada Democratic leader: Protect reproductive freedom
Nevada Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro co-sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 7, which would amend the state constitution to solidify “a fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” Nevada Current reported last week. The language includes the right to prenatal care, postpartum care, birth control and infertility treatment, among other aspects of reproductive health care, according to supporters.
In 1990, Nevadans voted in favor of a referendum that established a right to an abortion for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy and over that threshold if necessary to save the life of the mother. The proposed constitutional amendment would safeguard reproductive rights in the state, according to the Current.
THE PULL Commentary from Ohio
“The political strategy to try to defeat Ohio’s proposed abortion rights amendment is wildly obvious: Manufacture hysteria over a slippery slope legal fallacy about parents rights, and use all levers of power at every level to stack the deck against Ohio voters and in favor of right-wing extremists.” – David DeWitt, editor-in-chief, Ohio Capital Journal
THE PULSE Reproductive rights news across the country
- From our Washington, D.C. Bureau: The Biden administration wants more women in the construction industry. The field is riddled with sexual harassment, workers said. (States Newsroom.)
- The Minnesota House passed a bill that would protect out-of-state abortion seekers. (Minnesota Reformer.)
- Texas abortion funds have started paying for out-of-state abortions again. (Texas Tribune.)
- An Arizona Republican likened religious vaccine exemptions to reproductive rights: “I believe it’s my body, my choice, and the employer has no interest in what I do with my own body,” Rep. Justin Heap said, to laughter and applause from party members. (Arizona Mirror.)
- If Florida passes a six-week abortion ban, Alabamians and Texans will be affected. (Prism.)
STATE BY STATE Abortion access in the U.S.
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