By Dave Andrusko
The decision whether New Hampshire will have a new parental notification law now rests in the hands of Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who, according to press accounts, has not said whether he supports HB 329.
Following up on the lead of the House, which passed the measure by a 256 to 102 tally, the Senate today voted in favor of the bill on a vote of 17-7. HB 329 requires that a parent or guardian of a minor girl under 18 be notified 48 hours in advance of a scheduled abortion. The bill provides for a judicial bypass.
When the House passed the measure March 16, State Rep. Kathleen Souza, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the bill was modeled after laws in other states that the United States Supreme Court has found constitutional. “I beg you. Do not keep parents out of their children’s lives any longer,” Souza said.
“New Hampshire is moving in the right direction,” said Gail DeMasi, President of Citizens for Life. “The fact that Planned Parenthood was forced to come close to admitting to having performed abortions on 90 children at their clinic last year indicates that the ugly reality of their real agenda is coming out.”
National Right to Life helped to increase public awareness. NRL Field Coordinator Jonathan Rogers traveled to New Hampshire to work with Citizens for Life in support of the bill by speaking to local pro-lifers on parental involvement and helping develop educational resources.
The legislative and legal history of New Hampshire’s unenforced parental notification law, passed in 2003, is mind-numbingly complicated. After a federal judge declared the parental notification law unconstitutional in late 2003, the state appealed, led by then-attorney general and now U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte.
“It was Ms. Ayotte’s heroic defense of the law as New Hampshire’s state attorney general that kept the issue alive and in front of the public,” said Roger Stenson, vice president of Citizens for Life.