Political watchers: Abortion will drive New Hampshire voters to polls

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 5:34 PM EDT
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CONCORD, N.H. (WCAX) - Fallout from the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade continues across the county, including in New Hampshire where the state’s congressional delegation gathered Monday to sound the alarm.

Abortion rights are once again front and center in the Granite State. It’s an issue that will likely play a factor in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Find out where candidates stand,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire.

Shaheen is not up for reelection this November, but her fellow Democrats-- Executive Councilwoman Cinde Warmington, Rep. Chris Pappas, Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster-- are all seeking another term.

One by one, they addressed the media during a press conference at Planned Parenthood in Concord.

“Granite Staters all across New Hampshire had been expressing their outrage at the idea that politicians could take control of women’s decision-making,” said Hassan, D-New Hampshire.

This year, a ban on abortion after 24 weeks was enacted in the Granite State. It was signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu, who calls himself a pro-choice Republican. He cites other states, like Massachusetts, with similar restrictions.

If the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade stands, the future of legal abortion could rest solely on individual states.

“Every two years the entire Statehouse turns over so things can change pretty dramatically. In the last two years, we have seen an increase in extreme attacks,” said Sara Persechino of Planned Parenthood.

The midterm elections are still months away, but the experts say abortion will likely be one of the central issues that drives some voters to the polls in November.

“Pro-choice women have not been single-issue voters. Anti-abortion women have been single-issue voters but this is going to make abortion a very salient issue,” said Linda Fowler, a professor of politics at Dartmouth College.

New Hampshire is considered a purple swing state where the largest voting block is independents.

Historically, according to Fowler, social issues have not been the greatest factor at the ballot box.

“We haven’t been a battleground state on cultural issues before but we will be now,” she said.

The New Hampshire Senate recently attempted to codify abortion rights into state statute, however that amendment failed.

This week, at the federal level, the U.S. Senate plans to hold a similar vote.

Related Story:

Abortion rights protesters rally in cities around US

What a Roe v. Wade reversal could mean for abortion access across America

Efforts to enshrine abortion rights in New Hampshire fail

NH lawmakers who support abortion rights sound the alarm

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