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Concord Monitor - On the trail: Will abortion ban hang over a Sununu 2022 campaign?

In case you missed it, The Concord Monitor’s Paul Steinhauser wrote about how Sununu’s decision to sign the most extreme, anti-choice budget in New Hampshire history could be a major liability for him if he runs for governor or for U.S. Senate in 2022. In recent weeks, there has been a massive backlash against the abortion ban in the budget from doctors, health care providers, and local leaders across the state.

Read the entire story at the Concord Monitor.

KEY EXCERPTS:

  • The policy provisions in what several GOP state lawmakers called the most conservative state budget in decades include a ban on abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy along with a requirement that all women receive an ultrasound before having an abortion, a school voucher program, and a gag rule on teaching about “divisive concepts,” such as critical race theory.

  • Sununu – who’s mulling whether to run for reelection next year, launch a Republican challenge against Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, or return to the private sector – has taken incoming fire from Democrats for weeks after saying he wouldn’t veto the budget over the abortion provisions. On Friday, his signature made it official.

  • Now Democrats are going to do everything in their power to make sure Sununu pays the price in next year’s elections.

  • “We will fight, we will rise,” New Hampshire Senate Minority Leader Donna Soucy vowed after the budget passed on Thursday.

  • Emily’s List – the powerful national organization that supports female Democratic candidates that back abortion rights – has targeted Sununu twice since he said a couple of weeks ago that he wouldn’t veto the budget over the abortion language.

  • Plus, Amplify NH, a newly formed progressive non-profit group, put a mobile billboard in front of the State House hours before the budget votes, urging Granite Staters to call the governor’s office to “Stop Sununu’s abortion ban.”

  • The language in the budget makes no exception for rape or incest, or for fetal viability. While it would permit medical providers to remove a fetus that has died, there are criminal and civil penalties – including prison sentences – for health care providers who conduct abortions after 24 weeks.

  • Democrats disagree on the similarities compared to other states. And if the governor runs for re-election or takes on Hassan – his predecessor in the Corner Office – in what would be one of the most high-profile and expensive U.S. Senate battles of 2022, targeting Sununu over abortion will be a key part of the Democrat’s playbook. It’s easy to imagine ads and commercials blasting Sununu over abortion flooding the TV and radio airwaves and on digital.

  • Democrat Molly Kelly, who ran for governor and lost to Sununu in 2018, sees it differently. “Instead of trusting women, Sununu is choosing to insert the government into this deeply personal decision that should be left to women,” she wrote in an op-ed. “That’s wrong.”