Abortion rally in New Hampshire mirrors the one in Washington

  • The crowd listens to speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021.

  • Sammi Chickering of Concord brought her seven-month-old baby to the Reproductive Rights Day of Action to the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The crowd listens to speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. concord monitor photographs — GEOFF FORESTER

  • The crowd listens to speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action to the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021.

  • The crowd listens to speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The crowd gathered for a photo at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Liz-Anne Platt of Concord listens to the speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Liz-Anne Platt of Concord shouts through her mask at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Liz-Anne Platt of Concord listens to the speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action rally at the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The crowd listens to speakers at the Reproductive Rights Day of Action to the State House on Wedndesday, December 1, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Concord Monitor
Published: 12/1/2021 9:53:23 PM
Modified: 12/1/2021 9:55:37 PM

In Concord, they gathered in front of the Statehouse holding signs like “Bans off our bodies” as the U.S. Supreme Court heard nearly two hours of arguments about the legality of a Mississippi law that prevents most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In Washington, members of New Hampshire’s all-Democratic congressional delegation gathered in front of the nation’s highest court echoing the same message. U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster held a similar “Bans off our bodies” sign.

The New Hampshire rally included support for a bill, dubbed the Access to Abortion-care Act, that would prevent future legislation from limiting access to abortions.

“I grew up with the knowledge that I would have full control over my reproductive future — a right that allowed me to go to college, law school, have a career, run for office, and become a mother when I was ready,” said Becky Whitley, a Democratic state senator. “Unfortunately, it is no longer an option for us to count on the U.S. Supreme Court to protect our reproductive rights.”

As a woman of child-bearing age with two young children at home, Sen. Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka said imagining a place where women cannot access reproductive care was unfathomable.

“Yet here we are at a crisis point in our country when our constitutional right to an abortion and indeed our right to be independent members of society ... might be taken from millions of us overnight,” she said.

Later on Wednesday, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority signaled it was unlikely to overturn Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion, which could shake the bedrock of the nationwide right to abortion that has existed for nearly 50 years.

Such a decision would undermine rulings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two cases that set the precedent to allow states to regulate but not ban abortion up until the point of viability, at roughly 24 weeks.

In New Hampshire, abortions are legal until 24 weeks of pregnancy — a new restriction enacted into law this year as a backdoor addition to the state budget. Advocates worry that new legislation could further dismantle access to abortion in the state. At least three bills filed in the House plan could make access to abortion more difficult, including a bill that allows the biological father of an unborn child to petition the court to prohibit a mother from ending an unwanted pregnancy.

The gathering outside Concord’s Statehouse mirrored the larger gathering in Washington, D.C., where the Supreme Court arguments took place.

“Whose choice?” “My choice!” was a frequent call-and-response on the abortion-rights side, countered by anti-abortion chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.”

The crowd rallying with the Center for Reproductive Rights swelled to about 400 as the sun rose over the court’s building, outnumbering the anti-abortion demonstrators holding up images of fetuses.

“You need to repent,” one man yelled into a bullhorn, trying to drown out an abortion rights speaker. “You want women to murder babies. You love the murder of children.”

Several members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, who have been vocal proponents of access to abortion and reproductive care, held a news conference Monday and stood in front of the court Wednesday.

“I had friends in college who were forced to seek dangerous back-alley abortions because women across the country were denied access to critical family planning services,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said at an event Monday. “We cannot allow Republican lawmakers to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive health and rights, which is precisely what the Mississippi case seeks to do. It is time to sound the alarm.”

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.)




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