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N.H. Senate Rejects Waiting Period Bill, Will Negotiate With House on Contraception Bill

N.H. Senate Rejects Waiting Period Bill, Will Negotiate With House on Contraception Bill

May 25, 2012 — The New Hampshire Senate on Wednesday rejected for the second time a bill (HB 1659) that would require women to wait 24 hours before obtaining abortion care, the AP/Boston Globe reports (AP/Boston Globe, 5/23).

The House recently revived the bill after the Senate voted 12-11 to reject it last month. House lawmakers attached it to a Senate bill on tax credits as a way to resurrect the measure.

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 (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/16).

Negotiations Set for Contraceptive Coverage Bill

The Senate on Wednesday also agreed to negotiate with the House on a bill (SB 356) that would allow certain religiously affiliated employers to exclude contraceptive coverage from their health plans, the AP/Google News reports. The bill would apply to entities partially or wholly owned by a religious society, as well as those formed with a religious intent.

The House added the measure to an unrelated Senate bill last week and requested a committee to negotiate a compromise (AP/Google News, 5/23).

Senate leaders agreed to negotiate after Sen. Fenton Groen (R) -- who supports both the contraception measure and the underlying bill -- said he only wants to negotiate with the House about the original legislation, which is about delegates to state constitutional conventions.

Senate President Peter Bragdon (R) said Groen would be on the committee of conference and that he would take him "at his word" that any compromise would not include the contraception measure.

The committee has about a week to negotiate. Committee reports must be signed by May 31 and voted on in both chambers by June 7 (Spolar, Concord Monitor, 5/24).