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Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

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U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

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Groups Urge Sununu to Rethink Budget's 24-Week Abortion Ban

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Friday, June 18, 2021   

CONCORD, N.H. -- Reproductive-health advocates are calling on Gov. Chris Sununu to meet with them about the ban on abortions after 24 weeks, which is currently in both the Senate and House versions of the state budget.

A coalition of groups held a demonstration outside the State House before delivering a letter to the governor, requesting he join a forum at a time and place of his choosing, before he signs the budget into law.

Josie Pinto, co-founder and executive director of the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire, which helps patients struggling to access an abortion get the funds they need, said the budget is not the place to pass an abortion ban.

"I just think that this law is one more barrier that's going to stand between a person and potentially life-saving medical care, and it just should not be on a politician to make that decision," Pinto argued. "That is a decision that needs to be between the doctor and a patient, so that's why we want to talk to him."

Pinto added abortions after 24 weeks are extremely rare, difficult to get and costly. She noted one call the fund received was for a 24-week abortion, and the quoted price was $8,800.

Dr. Nick Perencevich, a retired surgeon from Boston, shared his experience at the State House event as a physician training in the 1970s, tending to patients who were suffering complications from unsafe abortions that were not legal before Roe v. Wade.

"Criminalization does not stop abortions," Perencevich asserted. "They're going to happen. They're just going to happen in a very unsafe environment. The abortions go away with good family planning, not with restrictive legislation that penalizes doctors and patients."

Pinto added a majority of Granite Staters support access to abortion. More than 65% of New Hampshire residents believe it should be legal in all or most cases.

"I think, unfortunately, a lot of people don't know that this is happening right now, and I think if they did we would see a lot more vocal opposition," Pinto contended. "So I'm really just trying to educate people that this is happening, and through our state budget, of all things."


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