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Supreme Court decisions on abortion unlikely to impact access in most New England states

The Oct. 2, 2021, rally in Concord, organized by March for Women and Planned Parenthood, protested recent abortion restrictions, including ones in New Hampshire signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu.
Sarah Gibson
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NHPR
The Oct. 2, 2021, rally in Concord, organized by March for Women and Planned Parenthood, protested recent abortion restrictions, including ones in New Hampshire signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Action by the U.S. Supreme Court on abortion cases in the coming months wouldn't change access in most New England states, but it could make a difference in New Hampshire.

The Supreme Court last week heard arguments challenging an abortion law in Texas. The high court is scheduled to hear another case from Mississippi next month.

Women in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine are unlikely to be impacted if the court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade. That's because those states have the right to an abortion written into state law.

But New Hampshire doesn't, and earlier this year Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill placing additional restrictions on the procedure.

Rebecca Hart Holder,  the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, said that's a reason for concern. 

"If Roe falls or if the holding is radically changed and if New Hampshire continues to restrict care," she said, "I think we can expect to see people from New Hampshire coming to Massachusetts for care."

Hart Holder said she expects the Supreme Court will overturn or significantly change the current right to an abortion. 

Copyright 2021 New England Public Media. To see more, visit New England Public Media.

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Before joining New England Public Radio, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.

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