Senate Democrats Applaud Bipartisan Passage of HB 1609

April 21, 2022

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3375

Email:marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us


CONCORD – Today, in a vote of 19-5, the Senate voted Ought to Pass with Amendment on HB 1609. As amended, HB 1609 provides an exception in the Republican abortion ban for fatal fetal diagnoses and removes the requirement that all individuals seeking abortion care must undergo an ultrasound at every stage of pregnancy. Senators Hennessey, Bradley, Gray, French, Ward, Ricciardi, Carson, Reagan, and Gannon voted along with the Senate Democratic caucus to pass the bill.


After the vote, Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester), Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua), Senate Judiciary Committee members Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene), Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye), and Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth) issued the following statements:


Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) stated, “I am pleased that we were able to pass HB 1609 today. While I firmly believe the abortion ban needs to be repealed in its entirety, today’s vote will help to minimize the harm caused to New Hampshire women and families by this ill-advised policy.”


Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) added, “There are really only two people that should make the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching decisions that we heard about during the public testimony on HB 1609: the patient and the doctor. I’m extremely grateful to see HB 1609 passed today with bipartisan support and look forward to it becoming law.”


Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) added, “Today’s passage of HB 1609 is a testament to the bravery of women like Lisa Akey and Michelle Cilley Foisy who stood up and shared their stories, putting names and faces to the very real people who have been negatively impacted by the Republican abortion ban. We are all so grateful for their advocacy and their bravery and I look forward to the Governor’s signature on this critical legislation.”


Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) added, “The public hearing on HB 1609 was one of the most powerful hearings I have ever been a part of. The stories shared by Granite State women, families, and medical professionals emphasized the very real fact that every pregnancy is unique and that mothers and families need compassion and flexibility to make these extremely personal medical decisions. I am grateful for today’s bipartisan vote and look forward to seeing HB 1609 becoming law.”


Senator Tom Sherman (D-Rye) added, “The Republican abortion ban is already having significant negative impacts on New Hampshire women, families, and medical professionals. While I still believe that the abortion ban must be repealed in its entirety, today’s vote was a crucial first step in mitigating the harm that this statute has already caused. I am extremely grateful to the brave Granite Staters who came forward to testify and hope that my Republican colleagues will continue to listen to their constituents who overwhelmingly oppose restricting access to reproductive health care. Only a woman and her health care providers are qualified to make these intensely personal decisions.”


Senator Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth) added, “Today was a win for New Hampshire families who are facing the most difficult, personal decisions. As a mother, my heart is with the brave women who came forward to tell their stories and inspired today’s bipartisan vote. As a legislator, I am honored to have cast my vote in favor of this critical bill.”

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