Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH, Granite Staters, Handmaid Coalition Denounce Sununu’s Outrageous Abortion Ban in “Our Bodies, Our Access” Demonstration at State House

Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH, Granite Staters, Handmaid Coalition Denounce Sununu’s Outrageous Abortion Ban in “Our Bodies, Our Access” Demonstration at State House

Governor Chris Sununu will be first governor in New Hampshire history to ban abortions

Pictured: State Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka, SD 21 and currently 28 weeks pregnant

CONCORD, NH – The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire, Granite State Progress, Kent Street Coalition, the NH Handmaid Coalition, and other supporters of reproductive rights hosted a “Our Bodies, Our Access: Stop Sununu’s Abortion Ban” demonstration and press conference to denounce Governor Chris Sununu’s outrageous and cruel abortion ban in the state budget.

The event included a procession of Handmaids outside the State House and speeches before advocates visited Governor Sununu’s office to deliver a letter calling on him to listen to his constituents and meet with reproductive rights advocates before he signs the abortion ban in the budget into law. Photos and video are available for media, courtesy of Granite State Progress.

Speakers and advocates released the following statements:

Senator Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka, District 21: “At 28 and a half weeks pregnant, am I not the same mother I was four weeks ago? Five weeks ago? What has changed at 24 weeks that no longer makes me the same caring mother? Do you honestly believe that I would not do what is best at each moment for the life I am growing, that I am responsible for? It is a most sacred duty and one, I would beg of you, not to ever dare to think we – as complex, highly intelligent and capable mothers, women, and pregnant people – would ever dismiss. This bill is about respect. For the women who bear the important responsibility of carrying our society’s children, and their right to personal, physical autonomy. I hope I am so lucky to not today, not in four weeks, and not ever, find out that something is wrong with my baby. It would simply break my heart. But if I ever do, the best person to make any incredibly thoughtful and complex decisions about what to do for that baby – inside or outside of my womb – is me, with my wife. We have the ability to consult with our trusted medical providers. We don’t need any help from anyone here.”

Reverend Allison Palm of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua: “Unitarian Universalists have long been in support of access to safe and legal abortion because we believe deeply in the right of conscience and the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I do not believe that it is the purpose or place of our state government to ban safe medical procedures. The only people who have the right to decide what is best for a woman during a pregnancy are the woman herself, with her doctor – including women faced with tragic fetal diagnoses later in pregnancy.”

Dr. Nick Perencevich, retired surgeon: “As a physician training in the 1970’s I saw first-hand the importance of access to safe, legal abortion care. When I started my residency in general surgery in Boston, I found out right away on the first day, as a surprise, that we were admitting and caring daily for women who had illegal abortions. These women were really sick, suffering from complications from bleeding and infections and sometimes both. I would say at least three or four times a month we were doing an emergency hysterectomy in this situation, on these young women. And at least one or two of them died every month. No abortions, elective or emergency, were ever done across the street, at the Boston Hospital For Women, because of the laws at the time. What the majority party in the legislature is now proposing is taking us back to 1972. Criminalization does not stop abortions. History in my mind will repeat itself and the carnage of young women will happen again. Abortions go away with good family planning, not with restrictive legislation that penalizes the doctor and the patient. This legislation unjustly and unethically interferes with the medical profession’s job of ensuring the health and well-being of all their patients.”

Rep. Amanda Toll, Cheshire 16: “Having an abortion literally saved my life. I know firsthand that no one, especially politicians in Concord, should interfere with this intensely personal decision between a pregnant person and their doctor. But that’s exactly what Governor Sununu is trying to do, by potentially criminally charging doctors for taking care of their patients; by forcing pregnant people to have medically unnecessary ultrasounds; by denying pregnant people, even those who have survived rape and incest, the fundamental right to make their own choices. Everyone is entitled to full bodily autonomy. Everyone should have control over the reproductive decisions that impact their lives. Abortion is healthcare, and as far as I’m concerned, healthcare is a basic human right.”

Josie Pinto, Founder and Director of the Reproductive Freedom Fund of NH: “Within Repro Fund’s first month of launching, we got a call from a patient who was quoted $8,800 for a procedure at 24 weeks. Abortions later in pregnancy are not only extremely rare, they are difficult to obtain and there are already so many barriers facing families, including financial barriers. This law would exist as one more barrier – and it simply does not need to exist. Let these decisions be between a doctor and a patient, let them be rooted in what is best for that individual. I beg you all – hold Governor Sununu accountable and demand he veto the budget.”

Zandra Rice Hawkins, Director of Granite State Progress: “The abortion ban has extremely limited exceptions for maternal health and no exceptions for fetal health, rape, or incest. It threatens providers with up to seven years in prison, making it the only medical procedure in New Hampshire law subject to felony charges and imprisonment for health care professionals. It also adds a new restriction on all abortions by mandating medically unnecessary ultrasounds for every procedure, no matter the expert opinion or recommendation of medical providers. Sununu’s abortion ban is more extreme than other similar, and also devastating, attacks on reproductive rights in other states, and is part of a larger effort to undermine reproductive rights and bodily autonomy in New Hampshire, a pro-choice state. For decades, New Hampshire has proudly supported reproductive rights and the right to an abortion, on both sides of the aisle. Governor Chris Sununu needs to decide if he wants to continue the Granite State’s legacy of protecting an individual’s privacy and freedom in their own medical decision making, or if he will become the first Governor in the history of New Hampshire to pass an abortion ban.”


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