What you need to know about abortion rights in New Hampshire

An older woman wearing eyeglasses smiles and stands on a sidewalk, giving a thumbs up while holding a protest sign that reads, "Abortion is healthcare!"

Protesters gathered at the New Hampshire State House on Tuesday evening, May 3, 2022. (Mara Hoplamazian / NHPR)

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, leaving the question of abortion access to the states. This decision has no immediate effect on abortion access in New Hampshire, though it could open the door for future changes.

“Regardless of this Supreme Court decision, access to these services will continue to remain safe, accessible, and legal in New Hampshire,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement issued after the ruling.

Here’s what you need to know about New Hampshire’s reproductive rights laws in light of this decision.

What kind of abortions are legal in New Hampshire?

Abortions up to 24 weeks are legal in New Hampshire. Right now there are exceptions to that restriction if the pregnant person’s life is at risk, and for fatal fetal anomalies.

While the Supreme Court’s conservative majority said Friday the Roe decision was wrong in recognizing a constitutional right to an abortion, this ruling has not changed the current abortion landscape in New Hampshire. It does, however, open the door for future more restrictive laws to pass at the State House. Right now, the legislature is not in session in New Hampshire, so any new restrictions would likely not surface for at least several months.

Are there any “trigger laws” in New Hampshire will kick into gear and limit abortion further now that Roe has been overturned ? 

No. Abortion remains legal in New Hampshire.

At least 13 states have so-called trigger laws, which were passed to ban all or nearly all abortions as soon as the court allowed it. New Hampshire does not have any such laws.

Are there any laws in New Hampshire that protect abortion as a right?


Nearby states like Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut have laws affirming the right to an abortion for pregnant people before the fetus is viable, at around 24 weeks. In New Hampshire this type of legislation has failed to move forward at the State House this year.

Vermont is weighing a vote on whether to enshrine abortion rights in its state constituion. The adoption of the measure will be decided on by voters in a statewide referendum this fall.

How have reproductive rights groups been preparing for the potential fall of Roe in New Hampshire? 

The news of the Supreme Court’s decision has added urgency to the work of reproductive rights groups and health centers, but it hasn’t come as a surprise. Those groups have long expected and prepared for the possibility of widespread abortion restrictions in the U.S.

Now that Roe has been overturned, abortion access has fallen further into the hands of individual states, so some groups are continuing to mobilize voters and legislators to add protections to the law in New Hampshire. Others are preparing for an increased demand for abortions in New Hampshire, if people in states with more restrictive laws begin traveling for the service.

Josie Pinto, executive director of the Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire which provides financial support to Granite Staters seeking abortions, has been working with similar funds across the country to plan for a variety of outcomes.

“In addition to thinking about booking hotel rooms, we might also get to a place where we’re asking people to open up their homes to people for the night and provide them a safe space,” Pinto said.

As of earlier this spring, Planned Parenthood said they were already seeing some patients traveling to northern New England from Texas for abortions. Texas law bans all abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat at around six weeks.

What barriers exist in New Hampshire for people seeking abortions?

Abortion services are covered under many major insurance plans, though coverage can vary.

People who are uninsured seeking abortions face additional financial burden.

The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire funds abortions for pregnant people in New Hampshire, and can also assist with transportation to an appointment. They can be reached via text or phone at 603-395-9078.

Josie Pinto, the fund’s executive director, said the starting cost of an abortion is often $500, but can escalate into thousands of dollars depending on gestation period, health complications and travel costs. Medication abortions accessed via telehealth early in pregnancy are generally less expensive, at a few hundred dollars.

New Hampshire’s Medicaid program doesn’t cover abortion services, except when it’s a result of rape or incest, or if the pregnant person’s health is in danger.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits states from using federal funds through Medicaid to cover abortion except in the cases mentioned above. It does allow them to use state funds for the process. In the New England area, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont allow state funds to be used to cover medically necessary abortions. Most did so due to a court order, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Laws and insurance are not the only mechanisms limiting access to abortion, according to Dalia Vidunas, the executive director at Equality Health Center in Concord. “Transportation and child care are some of the biggest barriers,” she said. “Most women that get abortions are already moms.”

Alejandra Soto, Latino Media and Communications Director of Planned Parenthood says lack of paid time off, living in a rural area, or being undocumented also brings challenges in accessing abortion or reproductive health services.

“These types of laws end up impacting mostly immigrants, low-income people, people living in rural areas or isolated areas,” she said.

Earlier this spring, legally accessing abortion medication through telehealth, without ever setting foot in a clinic became an option for some people early in pregnancy. That became possible because legislators repealed a law that required an ultrasound before every abortion in the state.

What resources are available if you or someone you know is considering an abortion?

Health centers with abortion services:

  • Equality Health Center in Concord
  • Planned Parenthood of Northern New England  in Manchester and Keene
  • Joan G Lovering Health Center in Greenland

Other resources:

  • The Reproductive Freedom Fund of New Hampshire
  • Planned Parenthood hotline (English and Spanish): 1-800-230-PLAN
  • Reprocare: reproductive health federal hotlines (available in Spanish). Phone: (833) 226-7821

This story was originally published by New Hampshire Public Radio, a partner of the New England News Collaborative.