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On the anniversary of the Dobbs decision, Granite State Dems pounce on the abortion issue

While Republicans held a press conference at the state legislature, Granite State Democrats held a campaign rally to mark the anniversary of the Dobbs decision – another sign that they view abortion as a political victory for their party.

All four Democrats from the federal delegation were on hand Monday evening as several hundred supporters gathered, along with state legislative leaders such as House Deputy Minority Leader Alexis Simpson (D-Exeter), who told the crowd, “One person in particular is to blame for this chaos: Donald Trump.”

Simpson was referring to the three conservative judges Trump nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court during his presidency. They later overturned the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized a federal right to abortion and left the issue to state legislatures.

In New Hampshire, in the run-up to the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, lawmakers approved a bill that would allow unrestricted abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or six months. The law also provides for health exemptions in the third trimester. Almost every Democratic speaker on Monday evening referred to this as an “abortion ban.”

State Senator Donna Soucy (Democrat, Manchester) speaks to abortion advocates in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on the second anniversary of the Dobbs decision.

A few hours before the Democratic convention, Republicans held their own press conference at the same venue to draw attention to what they see as a false campaign by the opposing side to fuel suspicions that they want to ban the practice in the Granite State.

There, Chris Ager, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, announced the launch of a six-figure advertising campaign aimed at beating back the Democrats' “disinformation and fear campaign surrounding New Hampshire's reproductive health laws.”

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen mocked this move.

“They promised us that they would not do anything further to restrict women's reproductive rights,” Shaheen said, drawing boos from the crowd. “Do we believe that? Absolutely not, we don't believe them.”

“We have faced constant attacks on our freedom from MAGA Republicans and the New Hampshire GOP. It's time for New Hampshire to take back the corner office.”

Interestingly, the two leading Democrats vying for their party's nomination for governor, City Councilwoman Cinde Warmington and former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, did not attend Monday's event. Instead, it was President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris who received most of the praise from speakers such as U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, who said, “The focus today, of course, is the threat of another Donald Trump presidency.”

The Democrats' post-Dobbs strategy worked in the 2022 midterm elections, when the abortion issue successfully prevented Republicans from gaining a significant majority in both houses of Congress.

Hassan briefly took aim at former Senate President Chuck Morse and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the two Republicans seeking the Republican nomination for governor. She said Morse was “the chief architect of New Hampshire's abortion ban” during his time as a legislator, while Ayotte “called for the overturning of Roe v. Wade even before the Supreme Court did” and “voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Craig later issued a press release rebuking Republicans for their announcement.

“The people of New Hampshire know we cannot take their word for it, and we cannot trust Kelly Ayotte when it comes to protecting reproductive freedom,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, who is not running for re-term, rejected the idea of ​​allowing voters to decide New Hampshire's abortion laws for themselves, arguing that the Supreme Court had already made that decision based on the “precedent” set by the Roe decision.

“We cannot leave women's health and reproductive freedom to the political whims of state legislatures. Thank God we have such leading legislators here,” she said.

US Representative Chris Pappas claimed that Republicans were “threatening reproductive freedoms” and “putting the ego of a former president (Trump) ahead of the actual wishes of the American people.”

Guest speakers included actor Tony Goldwyn and abortion advocate Kaitlyn Cash, who spoke about her experiences in Texas with the Lone Star State's new abortion laws.

“I was denied treatment that would have protected my physical and mental health and my prospects for a large family, all because of Texas' dangerous abortion bans,” Cash said, warning that her experience “could be a reality here in New Hampshire.”

Goldwyn pointed out that while Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, no longer calls for a “national ban on abortion,” he “refuses to rule out signing such a ban” if Congress puts such a bill on the table if he is elected president.

In April, Trump told his followers on his TruthSocial account that abortion was an issue that should be left to individual states, but Trump claimed responsibility for overturning Roe v. Wade.

“And even today you hear him on the news backtracking on this issue because he knows he's the dog that caught the car,” he said.

Goldwyn said Biden and Harris would “fight tooth and nail for our reproductive freedoms,” adding, “As long as they are in the White House, a national ban on abortion will never become law.”

“This November, voters will teach Mr. Trump a very valuable lesson,” he said. “You don't mess with Americans' freedom.”

Anna Harden

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