CONCORD, N.H. (Jan. 7, 2015) – A proposed amendment to the New Hampshire state constitution would effectively ban any state funding of Planned Parenthood, or any organization involved in abortion. This would take a small step toward effectively nullifying Roe v. Wade in the Live Free of Die State.
A coalition of 17 legislators prefiled Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 19 (CACR19). If passed by a 60 percent margin in both the House and the Senate, the resolution would place language for a constitutional amendment on the ballot in the next general election. The amendment would prohibit the legislature from appropriating or authorizing any expenditure to benefit any corporation that has as its object the taking of innocent human life.
In order to become effective, 2/3 of New Hampshire voters would have to approve the amendment.
If passed, the amendment would effectively defund organizations such as Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire. Pulling state funding would significantly hamper the abortion industry in the state. This would represent a first step toward nullifying Roe v. Wade in effect.
Passage of the amendment would also make it possible for the state government to redirect federal money currently flowing to Planned Parenthood’s New Hampshire affiliate to other organizations that do not perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood sued the state of Utah when Gov. Gary Herbert’s issued an order ending state contracts with the agency, and blocking $275,000 in funding from the organization’s state affiliate. A federal judge recently ruled the state can take such action.
“Indeed, these are the types of decisions that should be left to elected officials and not managed by the courts,” U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups wrote in his Dec. 22 ruling.
Waddoup’s opinion relates loosely to the well-established anti-commandeering doctrine holding that the federal government cannot dictate state actions when it comes to implementing programs or enforcing federal law. Essentially, the judge held that contracts with Planned Parenthood and decisions about where to direct certain federal health care funds remains a state prerogative. Breitbart’s reported on the ruling.
The government, the judge wrote, in choosing to end its contract with Planned Parenthood, was “acting as a decisionmaker, making subjective, individualized assessments about whether to continue the contracts.”
“Moreover, the terms of the contracts gave the defendants full discretion and authority to continue them or terminate them at will,” he added.
Yanking funding from Planned Parenthood certainly wouldn’t end abortion in New Hampshire, but it would take the taxpayer off the hook. The action would also likely have the effect of limiting abortions in the state because of the amount of government funding pouring into organizations performing a large number of the procedures.
Passage of the state constitutional amendment would represent a small first step toward New Hampshire reasserting control over its own abortion policy. The Supreme Court’s opinion notwithstanding, abortion is certainly an issue that was meant to remain an object left to the states and the people under the Constitution, not something within the sphere of federal power.
Tenth Amendment Center
The Tenth Amendment Center is a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution. For more information visit the Tenth Amendment Center Blog.