Video: Press Conference on the Attacks on Women’s Health Care
House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli held a press conference to discuss several bills that would negatively impact women’s health care in New Hampshire. These reckless bills will be coming before the full House for a vote this week.
Concord – Thank you all for joining me today. My name is Terie Norelli, and I am the Democratic Leader in the New Hampshire House.
The recent attacks on women’s health by New Hampshire House Republicans have been appalling. I never thought in 2012 that women would once again have to fight for access to contraception. This only goes to show that the House Republican focus on jobs is no more than lip service.
The fact of the matter is they have focused like a laser on social issues and put jobs and the economy on the back burner.
This week the Republican Leadership will bring a dangerous and politically motivated bill to floor of the House. I hope the House will reject it. This bill would undermine health care for women and families across our State, putting employers between patients and their doctors. Do we really want a woman’s employer making a decision on contraceptives for her? Not in the New Hampshire I know and love!
Now, my Republicans colleagues are using the banner of religious freedom as a way to mask their blatant attacks on women’s health rights. But make no mistake – this bill would prevent women from making their own decisions about contraception.
This religious argument was absent 12 years ago when a group of bipartisan members of the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 175.
When it passed the House more than a decade ago, only 83 members voted against it. At that time the Republican Deputy Speaker, Speaker Pro Tempore, Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, and Majority Whip all were a part of the bipartisan coalition to pass that common sense bill – a coalition that consisted of 120 Republicans, 121 Democrats and two independents.
But today, where are those reasonable voices? 24 of those Republicans still serve in the House, and Six of them are members of the current Speaker’s Leadership Team. I call on them to work with their colleagues to ensure the defeat of this reckless bill.
During the last House session in February a Republican member said on the floor that employers do not need to offer insurance policies that cover contraception because women can go to Planned Parenthood.
It’s not difficult to understand why some members of the House laughed at that suggestion, since just earlier this year House Republicans passed House Bill 228 which would defund organizations like Planned Parenthood.
This ideologically-extreme legislation would completely eliminate all funding for basic, preventive health care services (services such as access to birth control and cancer screenings) received by over 16,000 New Hampshire women, men, and families at Planned Parenthood health centers, some hospitals, and any health facilities that offer full reproductive health care. This policy is bad for our families, bad for our communities, and bad for our state.
When they are not focused on repealing contraception coverage or defunding basic, preventive health care services for thousands of New Hampshire women, House Republicans are spending their time legislating that women be given misinformation when exercising their right to have an abortion.
In House Bill 1659, the so-called “Women’s Right to Know Act,” NH would be passing off propaganda as objective information. This lengthy bill is full of inaccurate information that would be written into our statutes. This disputed science has no place in our RSAs and should not be forced upon our citizens.
Yet this bill would require that doctors give medically unfounded information to patients – a violation of both the woman’s and the physicians’ rights.
A woman’s health must be paramount. New Hampshire physicians’ should be free of legislative interference when making medical judgments, and legislators have no business inserting themselves in the doctor-patient relationship. This reckless bill seeks to address a non-existent problem. It is unnecessary, and it is dangerous.
House Republicans are out of touch with the public sentiment. The majority should be focusing on job creation, but instead they are focused on social issues that will set women’s health back decades. We must not allow their political ideology to be more important than reliable, quality healthcare for women.
These bills, backed by House Republican leadership, would let any employer deny women access to contraceptives, interfere in medical decisions, defund basic preventive healthcare and tie the hands of doctors when making decisions regarding the best interest of women and their health would not create a single job.
I truly hope my Republican colleagues will get the message, and work with Governor Lynch and House Democrats on common sense solutions to create jobs and grow our economy.