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N.H. House Approves Contraceptive Coverage Bill, Revives 24-Hour Waiting Period Measure

N.H. House Approves Contraceptive Coverage Bill, Revives 24-Hour Waiting Period Measure

May 16, 2012 — The New Hampshire House on Tuesday approved a provision that would allow employers that are partly or wholly owned by a religious society or formed for a religious intent to exclude contraception coverage from their health plans, the AP/Seacoast Online reports. Lawmakers voted 205-134 to add the provision to an unrelated Senate bill.

The House measure now goes to the Senate, which could approve it, reject it or send it back to the House to negotiate a compromise. Last month, the Senate voted 19-4 to effectively kill a similar measure (AP/Seacoast Online, 5/15).

House Attaches 24-Hour Waiting Period Bill to Senate Measure

The House on Tuesday also voted to revive a measure (HB 1659) that would require women to wait 24 hours before obtaining abortion care, the AP/ Boston Globe reports. The Senate voted 12-11 to reject the bill last month, but House lawmakers attached it to a Senate bill on tax credits as a way to resurrect the measure (Love, AP/Boston Globe, 5/15).

The bill, called the Women's Right to Know Act, outlines a series of steps doctors are required to take 24 hours before an abortion, including telling the woman that the procedure could result in infection, hemorrhages or tearing of the uterine lining, according to the Huffington Post (Celock, Huffington Post, 5/15).

The House approved the waiting period measure against some lawmakers' objections that it would destroy the chances for passing the tax credit bill. However, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R) defended the decision, saying the House was "standing up for its position" (Timmins, Concord Monitor, 5/16).