(Waltham, MA – June 18, 2012) RESOLVE New England thanks New Hampshire Governor John Lynch for protecting his constituents’ access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments in his state with his veto of House Bill 217.
In a vote of 18 to 6 on May 17, 2012, the New Hampshire State Senate passed House Bill 217 with amended language, a bill amending the first and second-degree murder statutes and the negligent homicide statute to include causing the death of a fetus. The amended language to the bill defined a fetus as follows:
“In this section, ‘fetus’ means an unborn offspring, from the embryo stage which is the end of the eighth week after conception when major structures have formed, until birth.”
This amended definition was unnecessarily vague and not grounded in any medical guidelines. Once the legislation reached his desk, Governor Lynch recognized the potentially damaging implications of this bill and vetoed its passage, saying:
“This bill would make it difficult for New Hampshire residents to obtain fertility treatments and unreasonably restricts a woman’s rights during pregnancy. For these reasons and because this bill fails to contain a “viability” standard, I am vetoing HB 217… Further, the definition of a fetus that is contained in HB 217 is ambiguous concerning whether or not the embryo stage is fully included or excluded. This ambiguity could affect the availability of reproductive medical treatments that are offered to women and men that assist in building families.”
The veto of HB 217 now protects the thousands of New Hampshire couples who need to pursue IVF treatment to build their families, as well as the infertility doctors, embryologists, and other professionals in the course of their fertility treatment. We thank Governor Lynch for vetoing this bill and protecting the access to care for New Hampshire constituents facing infertility.
We applaud the aggressive, tireless grassroots advocacy effort by our members, colleagues and volunteers who championed for the infertility community of New Hampshire over the past month. It is through our combined efforts we were able to defeat this damaging legislation and help protect IVF in the state of New Hampshire. RESOLVE New England remains opposed to any and all forms of legislation that may pose a direct threat or barrier to fertility treatments needed by as many as 7.3 million Americans living with infertility.
About RESOLVE New England
Since 1974, RESOLVE New England has been the leading voice and progressive driving force connecting the New England community on the many paths to parenthood. RESOLVE New England remains committed to advocating for the infertility community of New England. RESOLVE New England is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing infertility support, education and advocacy to the New England region since 1974. For more information, please visit www.resolvenewengland.org and www.resolvenewengland.org/advocacy/nh-alert.
June 18, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Lasker, Executive Director