Seacoast Politicians React to U.S. Supreme Court Overturn of Roe v. Wade
Gov. Chris Sununu says abortion services will continue in New Hampshire following a ruling Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning its Roe v. Wade decision.
The decision, which was leaked over a month ago, removes federal protections for abortion that have been place since 1973. Each state can determine the legality of abortion. Over half the states could ban abortions. Some have laws that trigger a ban if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
Abortions will likely continue to be legal in the northeast states, including all the New England states.
"The battle now shifts even more definitively to the states, where access to abortion services will fluctuate with partisan control of state legislatures and governorships. Gov. Sununu has supported a restricted version of choice, but that may not be the case with future Republican governors," SNHU Civic Scholar and the founder of NH Political Capital Dean Spiliotes told Seacoast Current.
“Regardless of this Supreme Court decision, access to these services will continue to remain safe, accessible, and legal in New Hampshire,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills called the decision a "fundamental assault on women’s rights and on reproductive freedom that will do nothing to stop abortion." She vowed to defend the right to reproductive healthcare.
"I pledge that, so long as I am Governor, my veto pen will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine," Mills said.
Protests Planned on the Seacoast
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England said that in New Hampshire, abortion remains safe and legal before 24 weeks, and after 24 weeks in cases of a fatal fetal diagnosis or where the life of the pregnant person is at risk. The group has planned rallies in support of abortion rights, including at the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Concord, Henry Law Park in Dover, Exeter Town Hall, and Market Square in Portsmouth. All the rallies start at 5 p.m..
"By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what we do with our bodies, deciding that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course for our own lives," Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Vice President of Public Affair Kayla Montgomery said in a statement. "This dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the country, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant."
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen: "Today, we grieve. Tomorrow, we fight"
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she was "gutted and horrified" by the decision by the Supreme Court that she said "failed half the country."
"Decisions around when & how to start families belong to us - not politicians & jurists. We cannot accept this dangerous new status quo. We must demand new laws in Congress & across state legislatures to protect women's fundamental freedoms," Shaheen said. "Today, we grieve. Tomorrow, we fight."
Sen. Maggie Hassan: Taking away "a woman's most fundamental freedom."
Disappointment in the decision was shared by Sen. Maggie Hassan, who said the court took away "a woman's most fundamental freedom."
"For the first time in our country’s history, our daughters will grow up with fewer rights than their mothers had," Hassan said in a statement. "We cannot let today's decision be the final word concerning a woman's freedom. I will keep fighting to protect a woman's autonomy and her ability to fully participate in our democracy."
Rep. Chris Pappas: "This is not a fight I’m new to, and it’s one I won’t back down from"
Rep. Chris Pappas said the decision was a "devastating blow against the health, well-being, and personal freedom of women in NH and all across our country."
"Now that this decision has been issued, we must keep fighting to pass legislation to enshrine all rights rooted in the right to privacy into law. This is not a fight I’m new to, and it’s one I won’t back down from," Pappas said in a statement.
In a statement late Friday afternoon the Diocese of Manchester said the Supreme Court decision is just one more issue for the times.
"This historic decision comes down against the backdrop of extraordinary conflict and division in our nation and in our world. The Dobbs decision is the latest occasion that demands of us how we as Catholics, as Americans, and as human beings, will respond to the challenges of the present day," Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester wrote in a letter.
He said Catholic ministries in New Hampshire will continue to support pregnant women and new mothers, especially those who are in need.
"The Diocese of Manchester also will continue to advocate in the public square for laws that affirm the human dignity of unborn children, and more broadly the human dignity of every person at every moment of life and in every circumstance of life," Libasci said.