Senate Bill 348, aka “Parker’s Law,” requires that all infants in the state of New Hampshire get screening for heart defects as part of their normal routine. This ruling would drastically increase the chance of these children surviving given the particular health issue. But anti-abortion factions within the House decided, at the very last moment, to propose that another law that makes abortions after 20 weeks illegal be included in the legislation. Doing this at the last moment puts everyone on the spot to make a choice quickly, without discussion or thought.
The whole process is akin to blackmail, whereby those who support a law that is obviously for the benefit of everyone are forced to compromise their positions on other issues in order to get it passed. What makes it even worse is that the anti-abortionists who tried to get this through knew that they would decrease the chances of the original law getting through all the necessary stages to pass. They were willing to compromise the health of newborns in order to promote their agenda.
Luckily, they backed off this time, though only after being warned by others in the Senate that they were going to get the bill killed. But did they back off because they were concerned that the original law might not pass or because they knew that when it was killed in the Senate they would have to answer for it during election time? Some who originally supported the amendment switched their stance, while others said simply that reconsidering was a “waste of time.”
These sorts of rider clauses are killing the law making process in America. The anti-abortion agenda is just one example of the way that this happens. So many great changes are being attempted by people who truly care, but those with agenda-based political platforms are willing to sacrifice the good of the majority for their own viewpoints. This time there may have been a victory, but how many other people will suffer when future anti-abortion agendas get attached to legitimate laws in a desperate effort to make a law out of something that people wouldn’t normally vote for?