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Lynch vetoes bill prohibiting partial-birth abortion

State House Bureau

June 15. 2012 4:26PM

CONCORD - Gov. John Lynch Friday vetoed a bill prohibiting partial-birth abortion saying it would needlessly endanger a mother with a medical emergency.

House Bill 1679 passed the Senate and House with enough votes to override a veto, but the House margin was very narrow.

In his veto message, Lynch noted he is not a proponent of partial-birth abortion, which he added is "exceedingly rare, and highly restricted by federal law."

He called the bill unnecessary and said the state law could jeopardize the life of the mother.

Lynch noted like federal law, HB 1679, would ban physicians and non-physicians from performing the procedure except to save the life of a woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a physical condition caused by the pregnancy.

But state law requires a qualified physician examine and determine whether a pregnant woman suffered from a life-threatening condition before a second, non-affiliated physicians could perform the procedure and also document that the mother's life is endangered.

"The added requirement for a documented referral from a second, non-affiliated physician could have serious consequences in emergency situations," Lynch writes. "I believe the federal law is appropriately more protective of the life of the pregnant woman."

HB 1679 is the third veto that lawmakers will attempt to override when they return June 27.

The governor currently has about 100 bills to review before deciding what action to take.

He has five days not counting Sunday to act on a bill or it becomes law without his signature.

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