Cross-posted from Leaven for the Loaf: Naysayers gonna Nay. Given an opportunity to include abortion statistics in a bill regarding collection of health care data, the New Hampshire House ran in the other direction this week. Left unaddressed was the question of why so many representatives who think abortion is health care don’t want to include it in a health care data collection program. But I digress.
The underlying bill, SB 111, came up for a hearing last month, when an employee of the executive department requesting the bill visibly blanched when a committee member proposed an amendment: adding abortion statistics to the mix.
The executive department requesting the bill was the Department of Health and Human Services. I can only imagine the Commissioner’s reaction to the SB 111 public hearing.
Have no fear, Mr. Commissioner. SB 111 was passed by the House this week without any pesky amendments.
There was a roll call on the abortion-statistics amendment. The amendment failed, 135-211. Here’s the link to the roll call, with a “Nay” vote being a vote against the collection and of abortion statistics. The heading on that roll call page says “SB 111 Roll Call,” but it’s a vote on the amendment, not the underlying bill.
The underlying bill passed on a voice vote, free of amendments.
I respect and thank the representatives who co-sponsored the amendment: Reps. Walt Stapleton (Sullivan County district 5), William Marsh (Carroll 8), Mark Pearson (Rockingham 34), Charles McMahon (Rockingham 7), Joseph Guthrie (Rockingham 13), Dennis Acton (Rockingham 10), Edward DeClercq (Rockingham 8), and John Fothergill (Coos 1). In addition, Rep. Bill Nelson (Carroll 5) gave an eloquent speech on the floor of the House to introduce the amendment.
Earlier this session, the House killed HB 158, an abortion-statistics bill. One of the objections to it was that the state didn’t single out any other “procedure” for a dedicated law regarding collection of public health data. So along came SB 111, regarding data on a wide range of public health issues, prompting some representatives to include abortion. As Rep. Stapleton wrote in his committee minority report on SB 111, neither he nor anyone else on his committee had a problem with the underlying bill; “This bill is good, but is incomplete without data for pregnancy termination.”