N.H. panel votes against two antiabortion-rights bills

February 4, 2016 — The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted against recommending the passage of two antiabortion-rights bills, theConcord Union Leader reports.

The state House is expected to act on both measures later this month.

In a 9-7 vote, the committee opposed the passage of a measure (HB 1627) that would impose criminal penalties upon abortion providers for non-compliance with a vague and medically inaccurate standard of care.

Abortion-rights supporters said the measure was ambiguous about what would qualify as grounds for criminal prosecution. Opponents of the bill also said it would disrupt the patient-provider relationship. State Rep. Charlene Takesian (R) noted, "We should not be legislating medical procedures from here."

The committee also voted 9-8 against a bill (HB 1560) that would ban a procedure used for abortion care in the second trimester. According to abortion-rights supporters, courts have barred the enforcement of similar bans in the only two states that have enacted such measures.

State Rep. Linda Kenison (D) said the procedure is supported by the medical community and that it is the safest form of abortion care at that point in pregnancy. "The Legislature should not want to tell the medical community what is a proper procedure or not," she said (Rayno, Concord Union Leader, 2/2).