Question: Can Chris Sununu say that he is a “Pro-Choice”?
Senator Hassan: “A Pro-Choice governor would never have allowed this attack on reproductive rights with no exceptions for rape or incest, with forced ultrasounds, and with cuts in family planning to be put in the budget.”
In an interview with Chris Ryan, Senator Maggie Hassan discusses the US Supreme Court’s rejection of New Hampshire’s tax lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; reacts to the anti-abortion rider provision in the New Hampshire budget;criticizes Governor Sununu for not vetoing the budget and for not dissuading his Republican controlled legislature from passing the bill; explains her view on late term abortions; speculates on the passing of a bi-partisan infrastructure bill; and assesses whether COVID is in the rear view mirror.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu sued the Massachusetts Department of Revenue last fall in the Supreme Court after the agency adopted a temporary policy of collecting income taxes from commuters who used to travel into Massachusetts but were working remotely instead because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Hassan disagrees with the Court’s decision and with the Biden Administration’s handling of the case. She vows to continue work on legislation to protect Granite Staters who work via telecommuting from being taxed by other states.
A trailer bill to the state budget (HB 2) passed last week includes a ban on abortions after 24 weeks except when it's done to protect the health of the mother. The provision includes no exceptions for rapes, incest, or fetal abnormalities. In addition, it will require ultrasounds prior to all abortions to determine the gestational age of the fetus.
On a number of levels, Senator Hassan objects to this anti-abortion bill. The Senator contends that it should not be part of the budget because it has policy decisions which should have been discussed and debated separately. In Senator Shaheen’s opinion, this bill goes against Granite State values because it takes away a woman’s right to freedom and imposes penalties on doctors who are merely caring for their patients.
When she was asked if Governor Sununu can still describe himself as pro-choice, Senator Hassan said, “A Pro-Choice governor would never have allowed this attack on reproductive rights with no exceptions for rape or incest, with forced ultrasounds, and with cuts in family planning to be put in the budget.”
Senator Hassan believes that a woman who is contemplating a late term abortion is doing so after considerable thought and probably as the result of a fetal anomaly or a serious health concern for the mother. The Senator contends that a woman in consultation with her doctor is better prepared to make this important decision than any legislature.
The provision of the bill which requires the woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion can be performed presents additional issues of the legislature and the governor making decisions about a woman’s healthcare rather than the woman and her doctor.
Senator Hassan, who is herself a former Governor of New Hampshire, also criticizes Governor Sununu for signing this budget with its controversial riders and for not controlling the Republican controlled legislature.
Last week, a traditional infrastructure deal for roads and bridges was cobbled together by a bi-partisan group of twenty senators, including Senator Hassan. The deal fell apart when President Biden announced that he would veto the bill unless the “human infrastructure” elements, such as subsidized childcare, home caregiving, and climate change provisions, were included.
Despite this setback, the Senator is optimistic that the ten Republicans and ten Democrats who worked on the compromise infrastructure proposal will be able to work something out due to the pressing need for roads, bridges, water, and affordable high-speed internet.
Senator Hassan is encouraged by the number of people who have been vaccinated, and she is optimistic about the future.