AMAC Exclusive – By Charles Rex
Last summer, New Hampshire’s state legislature passed the Fetal Life Protection Act, or FLPA, which banned late-term abortions and made the Granite State a leader in protecting the lives of the unborn. The bill, which Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed, went into effect just this month, marking a major victory for the pro-life movement. But that achievement is now at risk. And New Hampshire Republicans – particularly Governor Sununu – aren’t exactly putting up a fight.
After Republicans included FLPA in the state’s budget last year, pro-abortion advocates and Democrats in the state legislature vowed to fight back. They made good on that promise recently by introducing HB 1609, which aims to gut the most important provisions of FLPA and render it effectively useless.
But instead of reaffirming their commitment to life and defending legislation passed by the Republican State Legislature and signed by the Republican governor, some Republican lawmakers and Sununu himself are engaged in an incredible about-face, joining with Democrats to try and kill that very bill under the guise of “refining” it.
In a letter to state legislators, Governor Sununu offered his full support for HB 1609, writing that “Like most Granite Staters, I don’t live in extremes on either side of the issue that is being considered today.” While cynically characterizing the pro-life position as “extreme,” Sununu also called himself “pro-choice,” and stressed that he wanted to ensure abortions remained “safe and accessible.”
Sununu is not alone either – incredibly, six Republicans have co-sponsored the legislation. In doing so, they are not only failing to protect innocent life, but are directly defying the principles embedded in the platform of the New Hampshire Republican Party, which includes the following statement: “We believe that life is sacred, from conception to natural death and that we cannot diminish the value of one category of human life without diminishing the value of all human life.”
Rather than own up to the flip-flop, Sununu has adopted Democrats’ talking points and says the new legislation “fixes” the Fetal Life Protection Act by creating exceptions for rape and incest, the health of the mother, and fetal anomalies.
But carving out those exceedingly rare cases are not the primary purpose of the new bill, as Governor and his Republican colleagues are no doubt aware. The real purpose of the legislation is to remove the requirement for an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
Why is that so important? Because the ultrasound is the only accurate and objective measurement of the baby’s age. The FLPA bans abortions after 24 weeks, and therefore mandates that an ultrasound be conducted before performing the abortion to confirm the baby’s age.
Democrats haven’t stopped there, either. In the state senate, they are working on a full repeal of FLPA, making clear what their ultimate goal is. SB 399, the repeal bill, had its first public hearing last Wednesday. If Sununu’s comments on SB 1609 are any indication, despite the advantage Republicans hold in the legislature and a sitting Republican governor, that bill has a real chance.
Just how radical is Governor Sununu’s flip flop?
Just an hour south down the road in Boston, fellow Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who is not exactly leading the March for Life every year, vetoed a similar pro-abortion bill in Massachusetts. Because Baker still presides over the Massachusetts legislature and its Democratic super-majority, Democrats ultimately overrode his veto.
But the contrast is still striking. Instead of putting up any resistance, Sununu is joining with Democrats to undo something he signed into law just a few months ago. The effort to undo the Fetal Life Protection Act is also the opposite of moderate. It is the Act itself which represents exactly the kind of modest limitation on abortion—only limiting abortions “performed in months 7, 8, and 9 of pregnancy” —that the vast majority of Americans support.
As a sign of just how liberal Sununu has become recently, he now has a new fan in Washington – President Joe Biden. Biden quoted Sununu’s criticism of Republicans in the U.S. Senate extensively at his recent press conference, using the governor’s comments to slam Senate Republicans for being a “roadblock” to Biden’s radical agenda, including, tellingly, Biden’s attempt to eliminate the Hyde Amendment and pave the way for government funding of abortion.
The great irony, of course, is that the unborn children of New Hampshire could use someone willing to be a roadblock to what’s happening right now – if only Governor Sununu and Republicans in the state could find the courage to do so.
Charles Rex is the pen name of an eternal optimist with the scars to prove it. Rex is certain that the future of liberty flows from the state capitols, not Washington.
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