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ICYMI- NH Bulletin: New law forces every woman in NH seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound

In case you missed it, the New Hampshire Bulletin reported on how reproductive health care providers are preparing for New Hampshire Republicans mandatory ultrasounds requirement which goes into effect on January 1st. According to the law, anyone seeking an abortion in New Hampshire — no matter their gestastional stage — will be legally required to recieve an invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure.

The New Hampshire Republicans mandatory ultrasound requirement is included in their abortion ban that Governor Sununu signed into law this summer. For months, Sununu and Republicans have faced severe backlash from Granite Staters — including Republicans — over their anti-choice agenda, which has even cost them elections. Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College noted that Republicans' unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights will be a huge issue for voters and could be detrimental for Sununu who has been “flippant and dismissive” about his attacks on reproductive rights.

Key Excerpts:

  • In three weeks, it will not only be illegal to terminate a pregnancy after 24 weeks, but every person seeking an abortion, even a legal abortion, will have to undergo an ultrasound. In early stages of pregnancy, that means having a camera slid into the vagina, not an over-the-belly scan.

  • The procedure also carries about a $400 to $500 expense for uninsured women and co-pays for those with insurance.

  • The law, which Gov. Chris Sununu signed as part of the budget, takes effect Jan. 1. He has said that he could not veto a whole budget during a pandemic over the law. It’s a position – and an issue – that will take center stage leading up to the mid-term elections. He has also described it as no more restrictive than other states’ bans on later-term abortions, though many of those don’t include New Hampshire’s ultrasound requirement, threat of criminal charges, and lack of exception for a fatal fetal anomaly.

  • “Politically at stake will be highly motivated voters (especially women) who will want a real demonstration of his pro-choice commitment,” said Wayne Lesperance, a political science professor at New England College. “Anything short of that will make the race that much more difficult.”

  • The law provides no exceptions except for the mother’s life, includes criminal penalties for health care providers, and allows the father, if married to the mother, to sue a health care provider who violates the law.

“For the pro-choice community, they see (the case) as an existential threat to Roe. The governor’s response came across as flippant and dismissive,” Lesperance said in an email. Read the full article here.


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