New Hampshire Governor Sununu supports ban on later-term abortions

By Dave Andrusko

In a radio interview on Thursday, pro-choice New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said “he supports a ban on later-term abortions attached to the Senate-proposed state budget,” Kevin Landrigan reported for The New Hampshire Union Leader. “Aides to the governor maintain that though he is pro-choice, Sununu for many years has philosophically supported legal restrictions on abortions during the later stages of pregnancy.”

“So, look, I’m a pro-choice governor, but like most citizens of the state of New Hampshire, I do not think that we should be doing a late-term … at the very-last-minute-type abortions. That’s all this really touches upon,” Sununu said during an interview with Concord radio talk show host Chris Ryan. “And I think most people agree that that’s not appropriate. So, no, I wouldn’t necessarily veto a budget over that.”

Pro-abortion Democrats quickly went on the attack. In a statement Gates MacPherson, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire Democratic Party, said

“There shouldn’t be any doubt: Governor Chris Sununu is anti-choice and supports restricting abortion. By promising to sign Senate Republicans’ anti-choice legislation, Chris Sununu made clear he supports an abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest.”

According to Kevin Landrigan, Benjamin Vihstadt, the governor’s spokesman, responded

Like a plurality of NH citizens and as the governor has stated for years, he supports a ban on late-term abortion,” Vihstadt said in an email. “When asked in the Facebook live conversation, Governor Sununu said he was not looking to make any changes to New Hampshire’s laws, and to be clear — he did not propose this legislative amendment.”

“But as he said this morning, he’s not going to veto an entire state budget over a change that would bring NH in line with 43 other states, and any claim that this is a radical restriction is just partisan politics,” Vihstadt said.

Holly Ramer of the Associated Press reported that “Some of the day’s most emotional debate came during a series of unsuccessful amendments to remove or limit a provision that would ban abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life was at risk.”

Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, described being told that her now-41-year-old daughter wouldn’t live past one year after being born with spina bifida and other health conditions.

“I’m going to tell you all right now that I would not trade one day, one day of not having her in my life. She has enriched my life. She has enriched my family’s life. We need to be very, very careful about what we’re talking about here,” she said. “You’re trying to take away the chance of that child to have a life.”

Landrigan explained that “Senate budget writers attached the House-passed 24-week abortion ban (HB 625) as an amendment to the trailer bill (HB 2) to the state budget that contains all changes in state law needed to carry out the spending blueprint.”