Garcia: N.H. GOP personhood plank not constructive

Marilinda Garcia by Gage Skidmore, on Flickr

Image: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Marilinda Garcia continues to evade questions regarding her position on a controversial “personhood” amendment that would prohibit abortion by defining a fertilized egg as a “pre-born” human being endowed with the rights of a citizen.

In an interview with John DiStaso and Jack Heath on WGIR radio, Garcia was asked if she agreed with the language added to the state Republican Party platform that declares support for “the pre-born child’s fundamental right to life and personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

On her 2012 campaign web site, Garcia described her position opposing abortion by using almost identical language: “Believing that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life and clarifying the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections as applicable to unborn children.”

Rather than clarify her position, Garcia expressed her disapproval of the delegates’ action — and criticised Democrats for noticing. “My response to that was I just didn’t think it was necessarily a constructive addition to the platform, in any particular way,” Garcia told DiStaso, “but naturally the Democratic Party chose to seize on that, and again, try to make it something bigger than it is.”


Marilinda Garcia dodges ‘personhood’ questions

Video: NH02RawFootage

2nd District congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia has yet to clarify her position on the controversial “personhood” doctrine that defines a fertilized egg as a human being endowed with the rights of a citizen.

As we noted earlier, Garcia’s position that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits abortion is virtually identical to the “personhood” plank adopted by the New Hampshire GOP last week.

Delegates to the state party convention added language to the platform declaring support for “the pre-born child’s fundamental right to life and personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment, and implement all Constitutional and legal protections.”

The revised party platform now calls for “a Life at Conception Act guaranteeing the protections of Life and Personhood to the pre-born under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

On her 2012 campaign web site, Garcia described her position on abortion as, “Believing that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life and clarifying the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections as applicable to unborn children.”


Pro-life activists leading the “personhood” movement do so with the goal of outlawing all abortions. Opponents say the initiative would also criminalize some birth control, limit in-vitro fertilization and restrict medical options for pregnant cancer patients.

N.H. GOP votes to criminalize abortion, eliminate marriage equality and outlaw Sharia law


Tea Party activists were in firm control of the New Hampshire GOP convention yesterday, adding language to the party platform criminalizing abortion, condemning marriage equality and calling for legislation to outlaw Sharia law.

Delegates strengthened the anti-choice plank in the platform that had expressed support for “the unborn child’s fundamental right to life and implement all possible legal protections.”

The revised language explicitly declares abortion is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, committing the party to protect “the pre-born child’s fundamental right to life and personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment, and implement all possible Constitutional protections.”

(Incidentally, this language aligns the party with the position expressed by 2nd District congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia. On her 2012 campaign website, Garcia also pointed to “Fourteenth Amendment’s protections” for the unborn child’s “fundamental right to life.”)

By a 241-124 vote, the delegates defeated an amendment proposed by former state Rep. Tammy Simmons (R-Manchester) that would have eliminated the platform’s definition of marriage “as the legal union between one man and one woman.”

Simmons speech in favor of Amendment 43 was described as “a strong, reasonable, well-formed Libertarian - Conservative argument,” by one attendee. “Simmons’s eloquence was clearly wasted on these neanderthals,” complained Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester).

The delegates then approved an amendment condemning marriage equality: “Recognize marriage as the legal and sacred union between one man and one woman as ordained by God, encouraged by the State, traditional to humankind, and the core of the Family.”

The language is “straight out of the playbook of the 19th century Know Nothing Party,” noted Vaillancourt. The vote “clearly showed that two out of three Republicans believe in turning the clock back; in hoping to force gay people back into the closet,” he wrote.

Delegates also approved language committing the party to “take any and all actions possible to protect against the implementation of any part of Sharia law in NH, including legislation outlawing Sharia law.”

"Who would have known that Republicans have become such religious scholars as to single out Sharia law for special condemnation?" Vaillancourt asked. "No wonder Americans are hated by such large segments of the Islamic world; a gratuitous slap from the NH GOP certainly will add to that."

"As I say, it was a sad, sad, sad, sad day for sanity in the state party and the body politic," concluded Vaillancourt.

Mixed signals from N.H. GOP platform committee


Revisions to the New Hampshire Republican Party platform proposed by the platform committee send a set of contradictory messages.

They propose removing a reference to “traditional families” as the “foundation of strong communities” — but continue to declare marriage is a “legal union between one man and one woman.”

They propose removing language opposing “Sharia Law, the International Baccalaureate Program, UN Agenda 21 or other ‘sustainable development’ programs” — but they oppose the implementation of Obamacare.

They propose removing a reference supporting “organizations who provide alternatives to abortions” — but leave intact a commitment to “implement all possible legal protections” for "the unborn child’s fundamental right to life."

There is dissent. One delegate proposed eliminating the anti-choice language. “This sentence sounds very threatening,” she wrote. “To implement all possible legal protections. I’m concerned that women seeking an abortion, which is their moral choice, good or bad, will be criminalized. The sentence could sound like the war on women the democrats talk about.” The committee rejected her recommendation.

When the Republican State Committee holds its 2014 Convention on Saturday, delegates will be called upon to ratify the platform revisions. The delegates were chosen by Republican voters in last week’s primary election. Tea Party and Free Stater activists had worked to increase their representation at the convention. Saturday, we’ll learn if they were any more successful than their candidates for Governor and the U.S. Senate.

Lady Parts Justice (‘kicking politicians out of women’s vaginas since 2012’) takes on Scott Brown


They’re bold, they’re profane, they’re funny. They’re Lady Parts Justice, a group that describes themselves as “the first not safe for work, rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub that uses comedy, culture and digital media to get people off their asses and reclaim their rights.”

Led by Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show, LPJ is using comedy to reshape the narrative on reproductive rights — and to serve as a catalyst for activism. “Women need to put their foot down, their uterus down, and take to the street,” Winstead told Elle.

Yesterday, the group launched an interactive web site highlighting threats to reproductive rights in each of the 50 states. The “five terrible things” about New Hampshire include state House Rep. Jeanine Notter’s claim that birth control causes prostate cancer and Rep. Peter Hansen referring to women as “vagina’s” [sic].

And then there’s the video (NSFW):

Havenstein takes a stand: All of the above

This morning, during a radio interview with Jack Heath on WGIR 610, Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein refused to state his positions on marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose:

Heath: Let me ask you for clarity on this show. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Havenstein: No. Jack, I have very strong personal views on that issue, as other people do. I’m not going to make that part of my campaign or governing, frankly. I suspect it will come up not just here but in other places in the future, but I’m going to be focused on pro-growth, as opposed to the social issues.

Heath: But you know at a forum or debate, someone is going to say, “Mr. Havenstein, you’re running for governor. Are you pro-life, pro-choice? Do you support gay marriage?” Those are questions that you’re going to be asked. So would you just share a position on either?

Havenstein: No, I’m not going to share a position on either today.

Then, on his way over to WMUR for an interview with Josh McElveen, Havenstein apparently realized that his stonewall strategy was not going to fly. The former defense contractor addressed both issues with McElveen — by taking both sides:

h/t: NHDP

NH02: Anti-abortion PAC endorses Marilinda Garcia


Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, an anti-abortion political action committee, has endorsed state House Rep. Marilinda Garcia in her Republican primary contest with former state Sen. Gary Lambert to take on Congresswoman Ann Kuster.

“State Representative Garcia is a rising star in politics and we are proud to endorse her campaign,” said President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Marilinda has proven track record of defending life in New Hampshire and is an original member of the SBA List’s National Pro-Life Woman’s Caucus.”

Garcia’s anti-abortion views are not in question. On her previous campaign web site, she wrote that she believes the U.S. Constitution prohibits abortion. Garcia described her position as “[b]elieving that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life and clarifying the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections as applicable to unborn children.”

SBA List did not explain why they endorsed Garcia over Lambert. Both candidates have nearly identical anti-choice voting records and are on the record supporting fetal homicide legislation, prohibiting the use of public funds for abortion services, requiring 24-hour notice for abortions, prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks and banning so-called partial-birth abortions.

Rep. Lambert: Constitutional right to own your body and make your own decisions excludes women


The state lawmaker who spoke out against suicide prevention education saying “people should own their bodies” and even children have a constitutional right “to make their own decisions” has consistently voted against a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.

Libertarian state Rep. George Lambert was jeered on the House floor Wednesday when he opposed House Bill 1588, which would have required schools to provide suicide prevention education.

If this is enacted and a young person is actually contemplating suicide, what happens to them if we actually implement all of these programs?” he asked. “Are they denied their ability to actually evaluate whether or not that’s an option for them?”

In an interview with the Portsmouth Herald, the Litchfield Republican defended his comments. “The idea that people should own their own bodies is not insensitive, it’s an insightful comment,” he insisted. “What I said is that we actually have constitutional protections for people to make their own decisions.”

Lambert’s concern for young people owning their bodies excludes pregnant teenagers. In 2011, he voted to require a parent be notified before a minor has an abortion — even if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Lambert’s concern for a constitutional protection for people to make their own decisions excludes a woman’s decision to have an abortion — a constitutionally protected procedure. In 2012, Lambert voted to impose a 24-hour waiting period before all abortions and require doctors to provide false and misleading information to women having the procedure.

Lambert’s concern for people owning their bodies did not prevent him from voting to override a veto by Gov. Lynch and support an anti-choice bill described as “so vague and expansive that it could have given full rights of personhood even to embryos created during in-vitro fertilization.”

h/t: Granite State Progress State House Report Card

NH House: Trust women. No abortion waiting period.

The New Hampshire House today defeated a bill that would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling for abortion care.

House Bill 483 was rejected in a 229 to 121 vote. 37 Republicans joined Democrats in killing the proposed legislation. Four Democrats crossed the aisle and supported it.

“Today the House sent a powerful message to anti-choice extremists — government interference in private medical decisions is not the New Hampshire way,” declared Sara Persechino, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire.

"This vote marks a commitment from the legislature to continue New Hampshire’s long and proud tradition of trusting women—in consultation with their families, their faith, and their medical providers—to make informed health-care decisions without government interference.”

N.H. House to vote on abortion restrictions

Tomorrow, the New Hampshire House votes on a bill that would impose a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling for abortion care.

The House Judiciary Committee has voted 13-6 against House Bill 483. Writing for the majority, Rep. Sylvia Gale (D-Nashua) warns the legislation “would impose ideologically driven obstacles … and is both impractical and burdensome…”

This bill suggests that women do not think carefully about abortion and are unable to make responsible decision without government interference….

Safe and legal abortion appears to be the only medical procedure in which legislative interference is proposed. Such attempts to impose legislative imperatives between a patient and her professional medical provider are unnecessary and should not be acceptable to this body.

Sara Persechino, NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire, notes the legislature has considered similar measures seven times during the past 15 years. “Each and every time,” she says, lawmakers “soundly rejected attempts to place roadblocks between women and safe, legal abortion:”

The majority of Granite Staters agree—there’s no room for politicians in personal, private medical decisions. That’s not the New Hampshire way. We are confident that this legislative body will follow our state’s long and proud tradition of trusting women, in consultation with their families and medical providers, to make informed health-care decisions without government interference.

Tomorrow at 8:30 a.m., opponents of HB 483 will gather outside the State House in Concord for a “Rally to Keep Politicians Out of Health-Care Decisions!


House committee vote: No abortion waiting period

The New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee today voted to recommend killing a bill that would have required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could receive an abortion.

House Bill 483, sponsored by Reps. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) and Lenette Peterson (R-Merrimack), is similar to a bill passed by last year’s Republican-led House before being killed by the Senate.

NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire was on hand to report on today’s committee action:

Rep. Notter: Shame on me for hating cancer

Commenting on Facebook, state House Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack) sarcastically defends her discredited theory that abortion is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer:

The ABC (abortion/breast cancer) connection was part of the Women’s Right to Know bill that I sponsored. Shame on me for hating cancer so much I wanted to help women learn one of the causes. Can you believe I even went so far as to bring in a Breast Surgeon specialists to explain it all to us? What was I thinking? That is my shame to carry.

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