A Massachusetts-based reproductive rights organization will be expanding into New Hampshire.
Reproductive Equity Now announced on Tuesday that it is moving into both New Hampshire and Connecticut as a part of its goal to make the region “a beacon for abortion access,” the organization’s president, Rebecca Hart Holder, said.
“Granite Staters share a deep commitment to reproductive freedom, bodily autonomy, and dignity in health care, but recent attacks on our health care show us that the state is only one election away from eroding New Hampshire and our region’s reproductive health access,” she said.
The group plans to work on civic engagement and voter education, in the hopes that they can help oust anti-abortion politicians from office. They want to take on the Executive Council, whose Republican majority has voted repeatedly to defund the state’s family planning contracts which provide basic health care like STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and birth control for low-income residents.
Leaders at the nonprofit, which is funded through donations and grants, pointed out that New Hampshire is the lone New England state where the right to abortion isn’t codified in state law.
Abortion is legal in New Hampshire, although in 2021, the state passed its first ever law banning most abortions after 24 weeks.
We spoke with Christina Warriner, the group’s state director for New Hampshire, about the organization’s approach and aims.
Warriner is a New Hampshire native who just finished a master of social work at Boston College. Her professional background is in political organizing work, public service, and advocacy.
She said this work is “deeply personal” and she’s seen the impact on loved ones, like a lack of sex education and contraception leading to unplanned pregnancies in her family.
“New Hampshire has a long record of leading on reproductive freedom,” she said, but noted that in the past six or seven years “a small group of anti abortion politicians (are) making decisions for folks here in the state.”
“I think we see an urgent need for new voices like ours to forestall those attacks, but also to make the connection between abortion access, maternal health, and health equity,” she said.
Because Reproductive Equity Now isn’t a health care provider, Warriner said, the organization can “push harder and speak more boldly about how this is impacting folks without fear of retribution or lack of funding,” she said.
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