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MEMO: Kelly Ayotte’s Extreme Record on Reproductive Rights is Vastly Out of Step with New Hampshire Voters

OVERVIEW: As former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte ramps up her campaign for governor of New Hampshire, she finds herself in a particularly difficult position. Democratic, Independent, and even Republican voters in the Granite State overwhelmingly support access to an abortion. However, not only does Ayotte have an extreme record of working to restrict access to abortion and reproductive health care, but she also represents a party, supports a presidential candidate, and answers to a Republican legislature that wants to ban abortion both nationwide and in New Hampshire. Because of this, Ayotte has attempted to diminish the degree to which those Republicans in Concord have worked to further restrict access to abortion, because she knows this issue is top of mind for voters who will determine who sits in the corner office next year. 

As this memo will detail, Ayotte is purposely rewriting her record on abortion, and is, at times, outright lying to Granite Staters about what she would do as Governor of New Hampshire. The reality is that she cannot be trusted to protect reproductive rights in New Hampshire.

As reporters prepare to cover the two year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, this memo will serve as a reminder of Ayotte’s previous positions, her current craven attempts to trick voters into believing she will protect their reproductive rights, and questions that Ayotte must answer. 


  • As a U.S. Senator, Ayotte voted for the Blunt amendment, which would’ve allowed insurers and employers to deny coverage for birth control, IVF treatments, and more. 

  • She also voted to make it harder for Granite Staters to access birth control.

  • Then-U.S. Senator Ayotte also voted to defund Planned Parenthood on three separate occasions, and has said that as governor, she’d push to defund Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of reproductive healthcare services in the state.

  • In 2022, a majority of Republicans in both chambers backed a bill that would’ve established a six-week abortion ban, and earlier this year, we saw further restrictions proposed on multiple occasions, including a 15-day ban and a bill requiring abortions after 15 weeks to be performed in a hospital with a premature birth intensive care unit, a medically unnecessary barrier to care in a state with two hospitals that fit those criteria. 

  • Voters are well-warranted to be concerned that anti-choice politicians are paying lip service when it’s politically convenient, but will go back on their word later. 

  • In 2020, in response to a question on whether he’d push for abortion restrictions, Governor Sununu said "Abortion restrictions? I'm not looking to make any changes on that, [...] I'm a pro-choice governor. I don't think we're looking to make any abortion restrictions in this state." The 24-week abortion ban was passed the next year.

  • While a SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch – who Ayotte served as sherpa for and literally escorted into his confirmation hearing – referred to Roe as “precedent” that had been “reaffirmed” and that a “good judge will consider it as precedent” before later voting to overturn it. 

Skepticism of Ayotte’s statements and record is more than justified, and voters deserve to know where she stands on some of the specific questions New Hampshire will face moving forward on reproductive rights: 

  • As Governor, will Ayotte support a continuation of New Hampshire’s status as the only state in New England without legal protections for abortion? 

  • Does Ayotte oppose the push by Republicans in the state legislature to establish a 6-week abortion ban, 15-day ban, or ban after 15-weeks except for two specific locations in the state?

  • Why should Granite Staters take Ayotte at her word on this issue when she has repeatedly changed her stance on critical issues in the past, and voters have repeatedly been lied to by Republicans who have later enacted abortion restrictions after previously promising they wouldn’t? 

We don’t expect Kelly Ayotte to answer these questions. Her craven tendency to say whatever seems politically expedient at the moment, and her lengthy and extreme track record opposing reproductive rights, have only caused more confusion around one of the most crucial issues in this election. As you prepare to cover the two year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, and as Ayotte continues to misrepresent her record and agenda, it is incumbent upon the press to demand clarity about the future of Granite Staters’ most fundamental rights.


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