Target: Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire
Goal: To have Governor Lynch veto an amendment and bill that undermines women’s health and domestic abuse protections.
New Hampshire has commenced 2012 with unfavorable legislation impacting women and their health. A predominantly Tea Party New Hampshire House of Representatives passed an amendment 207 to 147, prohibiting the state from using tax dollars for any organization that also provides abortion services. Although, no organization can be specifically targeted in legislation, it is clear that the focus of this bill is aimed at Planned Parenthood. Many New Hampshire residents rely on Planned Parenthood as the sole method of affordable health care. In addition, another bill was introduced that would significantly cripple domestic violence laws.
Planned Parenthood provides an array of health services, such as pap smears, breast exams, contraceptive services, STD prevention and treatment. These services are available at a low cost to uninsured women, but may be eliminated due to opponents of abortions. If these services were stripped away from low-income women, it would have a devastating effect. Planned Parenthood reports that abortions only account for less than 3 percent of its services. In essence, the amendment is willing to sacrifice the many services that help low-income women, including those that could potentially save lives, in order to eliminate a service that accounts for a minute fraction of their total services. In contradictory fashion, proponents of the bill are willing to defund lifesaving programs, for their belief of saving a life. Nearly 16,000 residents of New Hampshire rely on Planned Parenthood every year. That’s a tremendous group of women that will be deprived of services, like affordable cancer screenings and more.
Similarly damaging is a bill that will reduce domestic abuse legal protections, in what was once considered the state with the strongest domestic violence laws. Bill 1581, would essentially restructure the role of law enforcement by preventing an officer from immediately arresting an abuser who assails his partner unless the officer actually witnesses the act. Under the current law, an officer can arrest an abuser if there is probable cause. According to The Huffington Post, Amanda Grady, director of public policy for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence opposes the new bill. She explains, “This means that if 911 has been called, and they see a victim who was assaulted and is bleeding, they wouldn’t be able to arrest that person unless they went back and got a warrant.”
Both of these issues are clear examples of detrimental legislation with disastrous effects for women. Furthermore, low-income women are even more impacted as their health and safety are in greater jeopardy. Tell Governor John Lynch (D) that these pieces of legislation must be vetoed. If they pass the Republican-controlled Senate, then it is up to Gov. Lynch to veto this legislation. Tell Gov. Lynch that New Hampshire must not regress to an antiquated era where women are worse off than 30 years ago.
Dear Governor Lynch,
I urge you to block both the amendment that attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and bill 1581, which restructures how domestic abusers are brought to justice. It is without question, that these pieces of legislation would negatively and disproportionately affect women, stripping them health and legal protections. It is imperative that you veto both measures.
New Hampshire was once heralded for having some of the strongest anti-domestic abuse laws, however, these measures threaten such an accolade. In fact, such measures reduce the safety of women by enabling a pattern of violence against women. Similarly, by defunding Planned Parenthood, you are divesting women of invaluable resources that can literally save lives. Do not further create obstacles for an already disenfranchised group of Americans.
[Your Name Here]