This week, New Hampshire welcomed a brand new abortion law to the family. The new Granite State "baby" will now proceed to jam an ultrasound wand in the vaginas of women seeking healthcare and wiggle it around for "science." They have to do it, see, before deciding whether a woman is too pregnant to access her constitutional right to an abortion — and by "too pregnant," they mean 24 weeks along. Why does a woman in early stages of pregnancy when an external ultrasound cannot detect a fetus need to "prove" that she's not more than 24 weeks along by submitting to an assault with a medical instrument?

Good question!

Another good question: Why did New Hampshire's supposedly pro-choice Governor Chris Sununu sign this legislation at all?

Particularly since the statute contains an exception to protect the life or health of the pregnant person, but not for the fetus. So even if doctors detect a fetal anomaly which is incompatible with life, the good people in the New Hampshire legislature insist that the mother carry to term, go through labor, and watch her baby die.

Family Values™ FTW.


But wait, there's more! Because the law provides no exception for rape or incest, and it provides criminal penalties for any doctor who violates the law. Also, this:

I. The woman, the father of the fetus if married to the mother at the time she receives an abortion in violation of this subdivision, and/or, if the mother has not attained the age of 18 years at the time of the abortion, the maternal grandparents of the fetus may in a civil action obtain appropriate relief, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff’s criminal conduct or, if brought by the maternal grandparents, the maternal grandparents consented to the abortion.

II. Such relief shall include monetary damages for all psychological and physical injuries caused by the violation of this subdivision.

So a man or the parents of a person who does not wish to be pregnant now have a right of recovery against a doctor who performs a wanted abortion by consent.

Nevertheless, Sununu insists that he will always protect a woman's right to bodily autonomy.

"I am pro-choice," Sununu, a Republican, said this summer. "I have always supported a woman's right to choose and never opposed late-term abortions."

And yet! When Republicans in the state legislature slipped the anti-choice provisions into the state's budget, Sununu went right ahead and signed it anyway.

"If they keep it in the budget, and I suspect they will, I will not veto the budget," he told Fosters Daily Democrat.

"First, it is not my bill," Sununu said at a forum in June. "It is the Legislature's proposal. And 43 other states have similar clauses, including Massachusetts and New York, who have almost the exact same law. No one is screaming at them. Do you want me to scrap a $13 billion budget for this one item? I will not do that."

Let me save you some time: Massachusetts and New York do not "have almost the exact same law."

Sununu expressed similar confusion about the law's ultrasound provision, according to New Hampshire Public Radio:

Asked in a radio interview last week about the ultrasound requirement, Sununu said he thought it applied to only months seven, eight, and nine, but then said he wasn’t sure, adding the abortion legislation was added to the budget bill at the last minute. (It was in the budget, which he signed in June, as early as early May.)

In fact, Sununu seems to take a "see no evil, hear no evil" approach to abortion in general.

“That is not an overturning of Roe v. Wade,” he said in November when asked about Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban, which is being challenged at the Supreme Court. “It has to do with viability and all this kind of other stuff. So no, I’m not really paying attention to that case, and we’ll see where it goes, but that case does not decide Roe v. Wade.”

Spoiler alert: HAHA, fuck you.

Anyway, sorry about your bodily autonomy, ladies, New Hampshire's got a budget to pass. But hey, Sununu's up for governor again in November. Let's remember this day and raise an ultrasound probe up to him then, shall we?

[Fosters Daily Democrat / NHPR]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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