Abortion Funding in State Budget: Reason Enough to Reject HB 2

Abortion funding comes to NH State House

The budget to be voted on by the New Hampshire House and Senate on Thursday, June 27, specifically HB 2, would coerce every New Hampshire taxpayer into paying for abortions directly. Any claim to the contrary comes from people who either haven’t read HB 2 or are deliberately lying about it.

Two people have forwarded to me private communications they’ve had with their legislators about this. Both the legislators are Democrats. Both denied that abortion is in the budget. For their reference and yours, here’s what the conference committee report on HB 2 says on page 189, note #153: “Repeals a prohibition on the use of state funds for abortion services.”

NH budget HB 2 would fund abortion

A vote for the conference committee report on HB 2 is a vote for direct public funding of abortion using state dollars.

Abortion is not health care. It doesn’t belong in the state budget. The state of New Hampshire should not be coercing abortion payments from people who recognize as a matter of science and conscience that abortion is the intentional induced termination of a human life.

Democrats on HB 2’s House/Senate conference committee accepted the Senate Democrats’ recommendation to insert abortion funding into the budget. No Republican has signed on to this outrage, yet. More than 200 House Democrats – all those who weren’t on the conference committee – have yet to be heard on the point.

New Hampshire is a state where abortions are legal throughout pregnancy, where no care is required for children who survive attempted abortion, and where there are no restrictions on who may provide abortions. That’s not enough for extremists in Concord. They want your money, too.

What About Hyde?

The federal Hyde Amendment is irrelevant here; it applies only to funds appropriated to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Added to every federal HHS appropriations bill since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prevented taxpayer funding of most (not all) abortions. It has been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. It has been emulated by many states in their own budgets, including New Hampshire’s up until now.

What About Governor Sununu?

Governor Sununu has promised to veto HB 2, on grounds other than abortion funding. What happens after that is wide open. Granite Grok will report any future public statement from the Governor or his staff on abortion funding and whether he considers it a negotiable point.

“We Already Fund PP…”

In another private communication forwarded to me on this question between a woman and her state representative (a Democrat), the rep did not answer his constituent’s appeal not to fund abortion directly. Instead, he told the constituent that New Hampshire has funded Planned Parenthood “for the last six years, and our Governor cast the deciding vote.” Way to dodge the constituent’s concern.

Then again, maybe he did answer her by tacitly affirming that funding PP for anything is no different from funding abortion directly.

In any case, here’s news for him and for anyone else relying on canned pro-funding talking points:

  • HB 2 would establish a NEW state policy allowing direct funding of abortion using state dollars. That provision in HB 2 has nothing to do with past budgets or even past votes from Governor Sununu from his days on the Executive Council.
  • Planned Parenthood has received money from earlier budgets (and for far longer than six years) via state DHHS contracts for family planning and HIV prevention work. This indirectly funds abortion, since every dollar received by an abortion provider for non-abortion work helps to pay the overhead for abortion work. This indirect funding from past budgets, offensive as it is, is a separate budget line from the new direct abortion funding in the proposed HB 2 using state funds. 
  • In earlier PP funding votes, then-Councilor Sununu was not voting on direct abortion funding using state funds. As early as 2011, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu supported contracts with abortion providers for non-abortion work. At that time, he drew a distinction between funding abortion providers and funding abortion. Until now-Governor Sununu makes his current position clear, it is premature for any legislator to imply to a constituent that the Governor is OK with taxpayer-funded abortion.

Governor Sununu has expressed his determination to veto the budget, due to factors other than abortion funding. All well and good. Serious negotiations will ensue eventually. Abortion funding should not be one of the bargaining chips in play at any point. That goes for all parties, all branches of government, all the time.