Stateside New Hampshire: The GOP War on Women Continues

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

In the past year at the Turley Blawg, we’ve cast a spotlight on the GOP’s “war on women”—as well as on the low esteem in which some members of the Republican Party seem to hold women. (Note: At the end of this article, you’ll find links to a number of the previous Turley Blawg posts on the subject.)

In order to keep you updated on this gender war that appears to have no end in sight, I have a story out of New Hampshire that should make women who live there shudder. Members of the Republican Party have proposed legislation that would change the state’s domestic violence laws—which are said to be some of the toughest in this country.

According to the Concord Monitor, “New Hampshire has been a leader in the effort to make domestic violence a cultural taboo.” The Monitor reported that “House Bill 1581 would turn back the clock forty years to an age when a police officer could not make an arrest in a domestic violence case without first getting a warrant unless he or she actually witnessed the crime.” As the NH law now stands, the police can arrest an abuser based on probable cause.

The Concord Monitor provided a possible scenario to consider—one that was outlined for lawmakers by Tim Russell, a retired police chief from Henniker:

An officer is called to a home where she sees clear evidence that an assault has occurred. The furniture is overturned, the children are sobbing, and the face of the woman of the house is bruised and bleeding. It’s obvious who the assailant was, but the officer arrived after the assault occurred. It’s a small department, and no one else on the force is available to keep the peace until the officer finds a judge or justice of the peace to issue a warrant. The officer leaves, and the abuser renews his attack with even more ferocity, punishing his victim for having called for help.

An arrest is not mandatory when someone alleges domestic assault. Under New Hampshire law an officer must first have probable cause and corroborating evidence. Under existing law, officers have the discretion to decide when an arrest is warranted, with or without corroborating evidence, but most police departments have a policy that presumes an arrest will be made when evidence is observed.

It’s impossible to say how many lives the policy, in place since the 1970s, has saved or how many injuries it’s prevented. If they adopt House Bill 1581, lawmakers might find out, but the price paid could be extraordinarily high.

House Bill 1608 would also almost certainly cost lives. It removes judicial discretion by severely restricting when someone who has violated a domestic violence protective order can be arrested to three offenses: committing an act of abuse or an offense against the person named in the protective order, or engaging in prohibited contact.

The bill would also, law enforcement believes, remove a judge’s ability to order a defendant in a domestic violence case to relinquish weapons or prevent him or her from purchasing a gun. It would also eliminate law enforcement’s ability to arrest a defendant who threatens to use physical force against a victim or her children. All are changes that could have deadly consequences and make life more frightening for abuse victims and their families.

The Huffington Post has reported that the law enforcement community in New Hampshire—including the Department of Safety, Attorney General’s office, Chiefs of Police Association—and domestic violence workers are all “vehemently opposed” to House Bill 1608.

A number of law enforcement leaders claim that the legislation would set them back. Franklin Police Chief David Goldstein said, “It’s taken twelve years to at least get on the books what we have, which is a model for the rest of the nation. And this proposed legislation would in fact send us back to the 1970’s which in domestic violence terms would be the Stone Age.” Amanda Grady of the New Hampshire Coalition against Domestic Violence said that she had “never seen a bill so directly aimed at dismantling the domestic violence statute.” Grady added, “The passage of [these laws] will likely result in further injuries and could possibly have lethal consequences for victims and their children.”

According to New Hampshire state statistics, 38 percent of the homicides committed in 2011 were domestic violence-related—and the vast majority of the “domestic violence cases were perpetrated by men again women.”

Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate for governor in New Hampshire, was quoted as saying: “New Hampshire women are like citizens everywhere — they just want to be able to participate in economic and civic life. When you deny them basic health care or basic public safety protections, you really turn your back on them as citizens.”

One has to wonder why such legislation is being proposed in the Granite State.

Afterward: I do have some good news to report. It seems good judgment prevailed in New Hampshire recently when the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted 13-0 to recommend killing House Bill 1608.



Leave domestic violence laws alone (Concord Monitor)

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bills That Prevent Police From Protecting Domestic Abuse Victims (Think Progress)

NH Republicans Back Pro-Wife Beater Laws. UPDATE: Died in Committee (Daily Kos)

New Hampshire Considers Defunding Planned Parenthood, Weakening Domestic Violence Laws (Huffington Post)

Committee Rejects Domestic Violence Bill: Bill Would Have Limited Police Enforcement Of Protective Orders (WMUR)

NH panel rejects domestic violence bill (Boston Globe/AP)

Domestic violence protections at risk (Nashua Telegraph)

House committee says kill bill limiting arrests for violations of protective orders (Union Leader)

Passing of domestic violence bills could set NH back 40 years (My Fox Boston)

From The Turley Blawg

Rape Redefined and Brought to You by Members of the US House of Representatives

The Right’s War on Women

The Right’s War on Women Continues…at the State Level

GOP Indiana Rep Warns That Women Will Fake Rapes In Order To Get Free Abortions

Roadside Rape Kit? Kansas Legislator Compares Rape To Flat Tire

Redefining When Life Begins: A Post about Personhood USA and Legislative Bills That Could Make the Use of Some Contraceptives Illegal

The GOP Continues to Wage War on Women with H. R. 358

45 thoughts on “Stateside New Hampshire: The GOP War on Women Continues”

  1. Elaine M.,

    I agree or else why would she have prepared the amendment….Both are stupid….in the end result is …WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING REPRESENTED,,,,,The Special Partisan Agenda is winning….

  2. AY,
    The bill was in response to an extreme and medically unnecessary requirements on women. It is an attempt to convince the Right to back off the ant-abortion nonsense.

    1. raff,

      I could not agree more…Again…Too much Government is not worth the cost…Period….I don’t care which side of the aisle that they claim….When men or women put extra hoops for individuals to go through in order to obtain a medical procedure that is a choice between a person and their doctor that is too much government for my choosing….period…

  3. Elaine M.,

    This is where Government and I respectfully disagree….I do not think that Government should be intruding in moral decisions….That is between them and whoever…

    I do recall that at onetime the Sierra Club had its grips on the city of Austin, Texas…You could not build or landscape a piece of property that you owned in the City Proper without getting a permit….You had to tag any tree and I mean any tree that was bigger than an 1/4″ and account for them at the end of the project….You had to explain why it was going to be taken out and if mitigating actions were taken….This I think is excessive…

    This is the extreme on both sides….I don’t care what party a person claims to be anymore…the Partisanship iideology has and is destroying this country….We need people who are not afraid to make decisions based upon what is for the greatest good of society as a whole rather than a select group of individuals…..

  4. Virginia Democrat Proposes ‘Gender Equity’ To Anti-Abortion Bill, Requires Rectal Exams For Men Seeking Viagra
    By Tanya Somanader on Jan 31, 2012

    The Virginia legislature is starting off 2012 with a bicameral attack on a woman’s right to choose. The General Assembly’s very first bill, House Bill 1, is a “personhood” amendment that seeks to essentially outlaw abortions. Over in the state senate, Sen. Jill Vogel (R) has introduced a bill that would require all women seeking an abortion “to have an ultrasound image taken to determine the gestational age of the fetus.” Piqued by the unnecessary intrusion into a woman’s doctor-patient relationship, state Sen. Janet Howell (D) sought to level the playing field.

    “If pregnant women should have to get an ultrasound before having an abortion, men should have to undergo additional medical procedures before getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction,” she noted, and introduced an amendment to Vogel’s bill requiring that men “undergo a digital rectal exam” for pills like Viagra:

    On Monday Howell expressed her disdain for legislation requiring the ultrasound by proposing an amendment she described as a simple matter of fairness. Her amendment said that before being treated for erectile dysfunction, a man would have to undergo a digital rectal exam and a cardiac stress test.

    “We should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said.

  5. Nation’s Largest Cancer Charity Caves To Right Wing Pressure, Ends Relationship With Planned Parenthood
    By Marie Diamond on Jan 31, 2012

    Komen’s pretext for ending the alliance is the spurious congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood led by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL). Democrats say the far-reaching investigation is a political witch hunt and abuse of government resources.

    Komen’s new Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Karen Handel, not only has a long anti-choice history, but pledged to eliminate grants for Planned Parenthood to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings when she ran for governor of Georgia in 2010.

    According to Planned Parenthood, in the past five years support from Susan G. Komen allowed their health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals. The charity’s decision has succeeded only in depriving low-income women of cancer screenings that could save their lives — a move that flies in the face of Komen’s missio

  6. The founder of Susan B. Komen is a Dalllas republican, Nancy Brinker, She was Bush’s ambassador to Hungary.

  7. Elaine, You are right about “some people”. In the end I think Komen’s fundraising will be damaged if pro-choice women quit participating in the runs and other events.

  8. raff,

    They invited the fox into the hen house…It is just like the lady that started MADD….she eventually became a lobbyist for the liquor industry….If you don’t like the enemy….then don’t invite them into your home…..

    Next headline we’ll read is that Hitler created the right to work laws….Twisted logic….but it boils down to the same thing….

    How can they complain….it is either work or death camps….take your choice…..

    Would you allow Dahlmer to watch your child?

  9. raff,

    If you read the article….that is not all at what happened…Planned Parenthood….is under investigation by a congressional committee…..ok…so what…The Komen Foundation….changed its rules…AFTER the investigation was announced….It sounds like a game of chicken to me….

    I suppose…McCarthism exists….regardless of where you are at….Here…there…everywhere….If the Foundation cares so much about women’s issues then why are the playing chicken with women’s lives….

    Out of the article…

    In some ways, the Komen decision isn’t particularly surprising. The group has been under pressure from anti-abortion rights groups not to fund Planned Parenthood. It also hired a vice president last year who had previously advocated for the group’s defunding in her run for Georgia governor.

    Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.

    Make one wonder what the agency’s agenda is today….

  10. Thanks, Swarthmore mom. That is not good news for women–but we’re second class citizens to some people. “Some people” must be happy with this news.

  11. Swarthmore Mom,
    Susan G. Komen just allowed women to go undiagnosed due to right wing fanatic’s monetary pressure. Disgusting!



    “The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military”

    “On the heels of a new military survey that the number of reported violent sex crimes jumped 30 percent in 2011, with active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21 accounting for more than half of the of the victims, we speak with Trina McDonald and Kori Cioca, two subjects of “The Invisible War,” a new documentary that examines the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, which won the Audience Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. “Not only was I astounded by the numbers, but when I started talking to the women and men who had experienced this, I was just so devastated by their stories,” says the film’s Academy Award-nominated director, Kirby Dick. “These are women and men who are very idealistic. They joined the military because they wanted to serve their country. They were incredible soldiers. And then, when they were assaulted, they had the courage to come forward, even though many people advised them not to,” Dick says.”

  13. Elaine M.,

    I’m eager to see the entire film. Amy Goodman aired the story today.

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