The leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dobbs regarding the long-respected precedent set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey represents an existential threat to reproductive healthcare around the country. In anticipation of the destruction of federal protection for abortion and reproductive rights, states have passed calculated abortion bans and restrictions. New Hampshire is one of those states. Our state’s first modern abortion ban took effect this past January, prohibiting abortion after 24 weeks of gestation and requiring an ultrasound for any person seeking an abortion.
Roe v. Wade and its preceding foundational opinions were based on the theory that the Constitution implies a “penumbra” of rights to privacy, which include the right to choose what happens to one’s own body. As lawyers and defenders of the Constitution, we at Shaheen & Gordon respect and honor the privacy rights that the Constitution enshrines and believe that a person’s right to choose should and must be upheld by our courts and our lawmakers.
New Hampshire is at a crucial point with respect to reproductive justice. In February of this year, seven abortion-related bills were introduced to the House Judiciary Committee in the state legislature. Should Roe fall, we must anticipate the introduction of even more restrictive abortion bills. It is time to push New Hampshire forward through political engagement and productive conversation. At Shaheen & Gordon, we have circulated action steps to all employees about the pending legislation on the state, local, and federal level, as well as contact information for the corresponding representatives.
As a business, we believe it is essential to take action to uplift marginalized persons in furtherance of equity and justice, and we support our employees in making their own healthcare choices. For this reason, we provide health insurance that covers a range of reproductive healthcare treatments, spanning from therapeutic and elective abortion to in vitro fertilization, egg retrieval and freezing, and pre-and post-natal care. We also provide parental leave, medical or pregnancy leave for those pregnant employees for whom parental leave would not apply, and compassionate leave.
These policy choices are part of our commitment to empowering and advancing our employees in their careers, irrespective of the personal choices they make about their bodies, families, and healthcare. We encourage other New Hampshire businesses to adopt similar policies, but our work does not stop here. As a firm, we promise to show up with the force and the legal knowledge to combat further restrictions on access to reproductive healthcare. This includes, but is not limited to, fiercely and skillfully defending patients and healthcare providers charged with a crime related to seeking or obtaining an abortion, and assisting with judicial bypass if needed.
As a firm, Shaheen & Gordon is donating $5,000.00 to the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire as a demonstration of our commitment to keeping abortion safe, legal, and accessible in the Granite State. We will match any donations made this week by our lawyers and staff to this or other similar organizations, including the Joan G. Lovering Health Center, the Equality Health Center, and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, up to an additional $5,000.00.
We welcome questions, suggestions, and feedback from our community about what we are doing and what we could do better. We also encourage our community members to learn more about the state legislation, contact your representatives, and make your voice heard.
- The Partners at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.