Let your reps hear from you about two important bills.
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Bills on buffer zone repeal and post-viability abortions get House votes this week...

and your state representatives need to hear from you.

The New Hampshire House has such a long agenda this week that it will convene on both Wednesday, March 8, and Thursday, March 9. Sometime during those two days, the House will vote on buffer zone repeal (HB 589) and a post-viability abortion restriction (HB 578). 

For what it's worth, let me share with you my own thoughts on these votes.

Look Up Your Reps & Their Contact Information
  • Keep your message brief and courteous. With many bills on the agenda, representatives are being slammed with emails, phone calls, tweets and Facebook posts. 
  • Use a descriptive subject line in your email. Many reps won't read past it, due to the volume of messages they are receiving this week. "Yes on HB 578 & 589" is one example.
  • When you contact representatives of your own district, say you're a constituent. In an email, that needs to be in the first line.

Buffer Zone Law Repeal

HB 589 came out of committee with an "inexpedient to legislate" (ITL) recommendation from the Judiciary Committee. I published a photograph of the committee's recorded vote, showing a 10-7 ITL vote; the House calendar now says it was 9-8. Either way, it was a narrow margin and there will be a debate on the House floor before the vote.

The committee report will have to be overturned by the full House in order for a substitute motion of Ought to Pass (OTP) to be considered. The best outcome would be a defeat for the ITL motion followed by passage of an OTP motion. Voting to table the bill would be no better than voting ITL.

In brief, the message I'm sending my reps is YES on HB 589.

I wrote last month about the committee hearing on this buffer zone repeal bill. If you have a representative focused on fiscal issues, you might want to send her or him a link to the post on what Rep. Gary Hopper discovered about the cost to the state of defending the buffer zone law. 

Post-Viability Abortion Limit

HB 578, as introduced, is an attempt to move New Hampshire law away from its current status in which abortion is legal throughout pregnancy AND there is no law providing for care for children who survive attempted abortion. The Judiciary Committee amended the bill and did not improve it, in my humble opinion.  

I'm going to ask my reps to support HB 578 as introduced, and if an amendment is considered, to judge it on whether it respects both mother and viable child, and keeps a provision to care for any child who survives attempted abortion.

For some background on the bill in its original form, here's what I reported from the committee hearing on HB 578.

More important than anything I've written is the following post from Rep. Keith Murphy (R-Bedford), chief sponsor of HB 578, who took to Facebook over the weekend to make his case. 
From Rep. Keith Murphy via his public Facebook post, with a single edit from me to reflect the House schedule:

For my fellow NH residents, I need help with something. This deals with a very controversial topic, which I know will come as a shock to those of you that know me well.

Regardless of where you stand on abortion, people that are both pro-life and pro-choice should be able to agree that aborting a healthy full-term fetus just days from birth is wrong and shouldn't be allowed unless the mother's health is in danger.

Yet it is completely legal in NH to have an abortion right up to the moment of birth. We are one of only seven states with this unhappy distinction. Internationally, the list of nations that allows this is very small: North Korea, China, and some Canadian provinces.

I have sponsored HB 578, which would ban abortions after the point of viability, to be determined by the physician. It contains exceptions for the mother's health, as well as for cases where one twin places the other in danger or the fetus is suffering from a deformity incompatible with life.

I had hoped that the House might put aside its usual partisanship and make this common sense change, simply saying that if a baby would live outside the womb it's not legal to kill it inside the womb, simply saying that life isn't dependent upon geography. But unfortunately the full court press is on from the Democrats, who view elective abortion on demand right up to the moment of birth to be nothing short of a fundamental right. Polling indicates that over 80% of citizens oppose allowing abortions on viable fetuses. This is as close as we are ever going to get to a consensus on this most difficult topic.

If you have any questions about the bill, I will be happy to answer them.

How you can help:

1) Send an email to and ask them respectfully to support the bill opposing any floor amendments.

2) Contact your representatives by phone and ask them to support the bill, opposing any floor amendments. Here is a link to determine your reps.

3) Share this status to get the word out about this bill.

The bill will be voted on this Wednesday. We have [two] days to get this in front of as many people as possible.

Thank you very much for your help.

Watch the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page later this week for a report on the House votes as they happen. I'll post links any roll call votes as soon as they're available.

Encouraging our representatives to support these bills is a form of nonviolent resistance to abortion, just as much so as keeping silent vigil outside an abortion facility. It's also a very active affirmation of the value of life, supplementing all that you do in service to others.

And with that, I'll leave you in peace. Thanks for all you do.

40 Days for Life is underway in Concord and Greenland. Learn more about these nonviolent campaigns of prayer, fasting, and community outreach.
Copyright © 2017 Leaven for the Loaf, All rights reserved.

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