NH Congressional Reps, Sununu Denounce Executive Council Vote
New Hampshire's Democratic congressional delegation and Republican governor were in rare agreement Wednesday while speaking out against the vote of Executive Councilors to end contracts with several health providers who also perform abortions.
The vote ends the state's contracts that have been routinely approved with five Planned Parenthood locations, Lovering Health Center in Greenland, Amoskeag Health in Manchester, Concord Hospital’s Family Health Center, Coos County Family Health, Equality Health Center in Concord and Lamprey Health Care in Nashua.
Sununu, who was in the meeting, said in a statement he supported the contracts because they protect women's health.
“Today's action to vote down funding like cancer screenings and other women’s health services is incredibly disappointing and not something I agree with," Sununu said in a statement.
During a COVID-19 briefing at the same Nashua hospital where the Executive Council took their vote, Sununu said he doubted he could have said or done anything to change members' minds.
U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, along with Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster issued a joint statement denouncing the vote.
“The Executive Council is denying New Hampshire family planning providers necessary funding to serve women in our communities, all so they can score political points. Providers have made it clear that without these funds they will likely have to cut services, denying critical care to Granite Staters and disproportionately impacting low-income women," Shaheen said. "State House and Senate Republicans and the Governor must stop their anti-woman, anti-choice priorities. Their grandstanding is beyond the pale and will have real consequences for the health and safety of Granite Staters."
Hassan called the vote a "dangerous attack on women's health and well-being."
"I will continue to support women's health care access and fight for funding for Planned Parenthood and family planning providers in the wake of today's harmful vote," Hassan said.
"It is simply outrageous that a majority on the New Hampshire Executive Council rejected these family planning contracts today. In doing so, these councilors have put their own extreme political views ahead of what’s best for New Hampshire women and families,” Pappas, a former executive council member said.
"When women lack access to the health care services they need, lives are needlessly lost. Safe access to reproductive and preventive care including birth control, STI treatment, and cancer screening for NH residents is essential," Kuster said.
Craig Brown, executive director of the group Amplify NH, blamed Sununu for the vote.
"No matter what spin he puts out, Governor Sununu cannot walk away from today’s vote. By supporting and campaigning for anti-choice Executive Councilors, Governor Sununu decided a long time ago that Republican politics are more important than the health of Granite State women," Brown said.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ