The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee held a joint hearing for HB622 and HB625 on Tuesday, February 9th. House Bill 625 prohibits the abortion of a baby beyond 24 weeks of gestation. House Bill 622 takes the peculiar approach of declaring that maintaining an adequate population is a state interest, and since New Hampshire has an aging population and very few births, the state should protect viable babies before their birth just as it protects babies after their birth. This is a fascinating argument, but as a voluntaryist, I cannot in good conscience make any positive argument for anything related to a ‘state interest’, so I will primarily focus on HB625:
Currently, New Hampshire is one of only eight US states which allows abortions until the moment of birth. The others are all extremely Democrat-controlled progressive states such as New York and New Jersey. House Bill 625 would bring us more in line with moderate states. The bill prohibits healthcare providers from conducting abortions on babies of at least 24 weeks gestation, which is roughly the 50% mark of viability. As I point out in my testimony, if we used the same qualifiers for all patients, I would have been encouraged to legally kill thousands of patients throughout my career. I have treated at least a few thousand patients whose mortality rate / viability was much less than 50%.
One pro-abortion individual mentioned in her testimony that babies may not be able to feel pain in the womb, so it should be okay to end their lives.
Again, if we used pain sensitivity as a metric, one could kill thousands of elderly or sick patients with impunity. This logic is akin to the most horrific and disturbing forms of euthanasia, of course, not to mention the slippery slope.
Throughout the hearing, I was pleasantly surprised that the only ones who opposed the bills were the lobbyist from ACLU, the lobbyist from Planned Parenthood, a doctor from DHMC, and a proud aborter from Maine. Many New Hampshire residents testified in favor of the bill, including multiple doctors (OBGYNs), a PA, a maternity nurse, and many regular citizens. Men, women, Christians, and atheists all testified in favor of protecting the lives of the most vulnerable people.
The counter-argument for restrictions on late-term (peri-natal) abortions must state that a baby is considered a human with full rights once it exists the vaginal canal, but 8 seconds prior to that moment, it is just a clump of cells and could be brutally crushed and thrown into the garbage. That is not logical, so I cannot support that argument. If the determiner is that the baby is now breathing and was technically not breathing oxygen with its own lungs 15 seconds ago, we should be killing the millions of patients who cannot breathe on their own, just the same. If the determiner is intelligence, we should be killing the millions of vegitative patients in the united states right now. I have not always been pro-life, but cold, hard, logic (not religion) brought me here over the years.
I don’t think that we need to spend much time on the hearing’s other ridiculous arguments such as “limiting late-term abortions will deter medical professionals from coming to New Hampshire!” and “the baby is just a piece of flesh the size of a pinky fingernail, anyway!”
If House Bill 625 is to pass into law, fully formed babies would receive the same protections from homicide as adults. If New Hampshire lawmakers want to prove that they value life, this is the time for them to show it. If a government is to exist, its only duties are to protect life and liberty. Politicians consistently fail to protect our liberty. Will they at least protect life by making it unlawful to kill babies?
UPDATE: HB625 has passed the House and is heading to the Senate.