This was my testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on HB1675 [relative to the right of any infant born alive to medically appropriate and reasonable care and treatment. -Skip], just one of the four abortion bills they held hearings on this week. I wanted to speak to this specifically because I had won a hard-fought battle to pass a Born Alive Infants Protection Act when I was in the House. It was unclear whether that law was actually repealed but my sources said that at the very least that law didn’t have any penalties or enforcement mechanism. These things are always difficult to track in our state as New Hampshire is one of only two or three states that does not have an abortion statistics law, despite our efforts to pass one multiple times.
I am incredulous that we are STILL trying to pass, and make stick, a law that would recognize that we shouldn’t be killing a newborn baby!
I recall fighting for, in this very chamber, with some of you here present, a humane, commonsense law that says we need to care for vulnerable, weak, tiny babies that so want to live that, despite our efforts to kill them in the womb, have survived and are fighting for their very lives. That law was passed and then later repealed!
What is wrong with us? Do we not represent people who have love, compassion or sense of decency in their hearts? Do we not realize that those who loudly chant, “My body, my choice!” have NO choice over another’s body? The newborn baby is NOT their body nor is it their “property” any more than slaves were property that could be owned. No one, in a civil society, has the “choice” to kill another or allow them to die through blatant neglect.
Please for the sake of all that is good and just, pass this law and keep it in place once and for all!
Per the discussion between the committee members and some of the prime sponsors, I felt it was necessary to address what we determined the definition of “alive” was for the committee. I felt it was necessary to remind them, especially Marjorie Smith and Sandra Keans, that we had a doctor, Doctor Pilliod, who went to great lengths on the original bill to define what would constitute a baby being considered alive, such as gasping for breath or even moving, along with a beating heart.
The opposition, a group of white-clothed interns from Dartmouth, kept wanting the committee to look at another shiny object, the issue of “viability” which was never discussed, intended, or even mentioned in the bill. They righteously argued that there obviously was no doctor involved in the crafting of the bill; somehow they seemed oblivious to the difference between being “alive” and viable. They went into great detail about when a baby was viable and what kind of care and intervention would be given depending on the age and stage of development of the baby, all of which had absolutely nothing to do with the bill in question.
Their arguments were also about……..wait for it…..women’s “health care”! Of course the bill dealt only on whether we treated the newborn baby with compassion and respect due every human being and had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with affecting the kind of care the woman would receive, ONLY the kind of care the baby received.
Then, of course, no liberal argument could be complete without testimony that no late term abortions were done in New Hampshire and therefore the bill was unnecessary. My response has always been; then what’s the problem with passing this as it wouldn’t make any difference if that were the case!
The smoke and mirrors game and the kind of spin they brought to the debate did seem to divert some members of the Judiciary Committee who seem to have trouble focusing on the bill in front of them and the purpose for such.
Regarding the question of whether my original bill was still in law or was, in fact repealed, I asked them to do their due diligence to determine if this bill was really just a duplicate of what had been passed and is still on the books and perhaps just needs to be amended to add an enforcement mechanism. As a private citizen I don’t have access to Legislative Services whose job it is to assure sponsors of the need for such legislation and provide them with the history of such bills and the current status of the laws. I hope someone on the committee heard this and will check it out.
Hope never dies.
BY Phyllis Woods