Lisa Akey is a advertising strategist and New Hampshire native. She at present lives in Brookline together with her husband and two younger daughters.
The day I discovered one thing was very flawed with my being pregnant, my thoughts wandered again to the time I used to be a senior at Harmony Excessive Faculty.
The 12 months was 2002 and our governor was Jeanne Shaheen. My biggest worries included shock pop quizzes, faculty essays, and determining what to do with my cussed curly hair. The power to make decisions about my private well being with my physician and household by no means as soon as crossed my thoughts. Not solely due to who was our governor, however due to the particular model of politics in New Hampshire at the moment.
This was properly earlier than radical free state transplants started streaming in. Our state legislators had been of us from New Hampshire who had raised their households and made their lives right here. They served their native communities faithfully for many years, believing and investing within the spirit of the Granite State.
That spirit is rooted within the frequent values of freedom, particular person liberty, and doing what’s proper for the folks of New Hampshire, not anyplace else. It was about points and other people, not ideology. And it’s a key purpose why reproductive freedom has lengthy loved broad bipartisan help in New Hampshire — till just lately.
A brand new raft of ultra-conservative far-right Republicans have quietly come into native and state places of work right here in New Hampshire, undermining the distinctive legacy of liberty in our state. They’ve been dismantling our freedoms largely below the radar till final summer time when their agenda was made plain with the passage of the primary abortion ban in trendy New Hampshire historical past. The ban was as radical because it was gorgeous, with no exceptions for rape, incest, the well being of the mom, terminal issues within the child, and legal penalties for docs.
Sitting in my physician’s examination room again in February, holding my husband’s hand as we acquired the worst information of our lives, I felt a pointy ache for the lack of the rights I had as an adolescent in Harmony. Simply shy of 24 weeks alongside, we confirmed that one in all our twin women wouldn’t have the ability to reside after beginning and docs instructed us that an abortion was the one certain method to save the lifetime of her wholesome unborn sister. However New Hampshire’s new abortion ban, pushed by the ultra-conservatives within the State Home, made it unlawful to get the medical care that might defend our daughter’s life.
In disbelief, I picked up a pen and began writing. I wrote to my native representatives. I wrote to quite a lot of New Hampshire Republicans who, true to Granite State values, supported reproductive freedom. I pleaded for assist.
One of many first Republicans to name me was Rep. Dan Wolf of Newbury. When laws got here up in Harmony that might create an exception to New Hampshire’s new abortion ban for instances like mine, he was my voice on the State Home whereas I used to be within the hospital, studying my testimony and telling my story to his fellow lawmakers. The exception handed, however the work is way from executed.
We want state legislators who aren’t afraid to face up for actual Granite State values, even when the wind is blowing in a a lot further-right route. Those that hearken to actual households in horrible disaster due to new legal guidelines that prohibit their most personal, private medical selections. And people who pay attention to docs whose solely goal is to assist and heal, who at the moment are below menace of legal motion simply from doing their jobs.
We aren’t all going to agree on each concern, however that’s what makes New Hampshire nice. On the coronary heart, our greatest legislators make the choices primarily based on what is correct for the folks of the Granite State above all else. They know that get together, ideology, political ambition, and pleasure isn’t as vital as folks.
There’s an election arising on November eighth, and there’s by no means been a extra vital time to lookup who’s working in your city and discover out what they stand for.
Did they transfer right here three years in the past and have a suspiciously obscure platform or have they spent a long time proudly serving their group? The Granite State values we maintain most expensive are on the road. So make time to analysis your candidates and block off time to vote. The preservation of our values will depend on it, and the stakes have by no means been increased.