BY: Citizens Count
A New Hampshire House committee is recommending that New Hampshire start tracking abortion statistics.
The full House of Representatives will vote on the recommended bill, HB 629, in early 2016.
Under HB 629, any health care provider that provides an abortion would need to submit information about the patient to the state through an electronic form. Patients and providers would be assigned confidential identification numbers. The state would share the data with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The public would be able to view aggregate data on abortions.
Supporters of the bill note that New Hampshire, California, and Maryland are the only states that do not report some abortion statistics to the CDC.
Abortion statistics can inform policymakers about when and where women are seeking abortions; a policymaker can use that information to argue for or against increased access to abortion.
However, some pro-choice advocates believe that HB 629 invites further intrusion into a woman's private reproductive health care decisions. The bill requires providers to ask questions that are not essential to providing care, such as a question about the woman's education level.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates it would cost approximately $3,400 to set up the reporting system.
Do you think New Hampshire should track abortion statistics? Comment below!