Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Heartless, Anti-Family Legislation

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3207

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

CONCORD – Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 233, a heartless political maneuver that could deny families who are grieving the loss of their child the ability to choose the compassionate care that’s best for them, such as religious rites & sacraments. This attempt to restrict a family’s personal medical decision has been brought forward under the false narrative of preventing infanticide, a crime that is already illegal in New Hampshire.


After the hearing, Senate Judiciary members Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) and Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) issued the following statements:


“HB 233 creates a false and reckless narrative that infants are being born and left to die by medical professionals in New Hampshire. This is false and a disservice to the medical professionals who devote their lives to the care and safety of women and their children and to the fragile system of obstetrics care here in New Hampshire,” stated Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton). “The real goal of this bill is to insert politics in the hospital room when families are facing the worst imaginable circumstances: the death of their child. Under HB 233, a medical professional could actually face imprisonment for not administering invasive and futile medical intervention on an infant that is not viable, leaving them to choose between felony charges and allowing a grieving mother to hold her child in her arms for the few moments of life they have. This bill is medically inaccurate, seeks to criminalize something that does not happen, and is a thinly veiled attempt to spread false information about reproductive healthcare.”


Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) added, “Passage of SB 233 would have devastating consequences in the most tragic of situations—when infants are born pre-viability or with a fatal fetal diagnosis. Doctors and families do everything in their power to bring a healthy infant into the world, but the sad truth is that there are times that these infants do not survive. Performing procedures like inserting breathing tubes and IVs into a baby who cannot survive would prevent parents from spending what little time they can with their infant after they are born. In these situations, these futile, invasive efforts only stand to extend needless pain and suffering for the infants. These critical health decisions are the most important and most private most of us will ever make, and they belong between families and medical professionals—not legislators. This legislation would take away parents’ rights at the most difficult time in their lives.”


Deputy Senate Democratic Leader Cindy Rosenwald (D-Nashua) added, “Today’s hearing was difficult to hear, and even more difficult for the brave women and families who came to testify. I want to thank each and every one of them for sharing the most personal stories they have to inform the Senate on these policies. Giving families the space to hold their infant in peace in the few moments of their life is not just the right thing to do, it is the fundamentally humane thing to do. By politicizing the most devastating situation a woman could be faced with, this proposal is not only irresponsible, it is cruel to suffering families.”


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