These 3 New NH Laws Have an Impact on Children and Families
With the new year, came a few new laws in New Hampshire. Here are three that have a large impact on children and families.
SB 66 assigns personhood in the case of homicide for fetuses beginning at 20 weeks.
In June, supporters had said it was time New Hampshire join 38 other states including Massachusetts and California in adopting laws that protect wanted babies in the womb. They said the bill has nothing to do with abortion, it simply grants separate protection under the law for 20-plus-week-old fetuses in a wanted pregnancy. But opponents called the passage a slippery slope, and although good-intended, it can have some unintended circumstances, specifically against pregnant woman.
HB 629 establishes a preference for the appointment of a child's grandparent as his/her guardian in the case that the parent cannot care for the child due to substance abuse. One of the bill sponsors, Rep. Mariellen MacKay, R-Nashua, said the bill enables the drug-addicted parents to get the help they need without worrying they will lose their rights to their child.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed the bill in June, making New Hampshire the first state in the nation to pass a law of this kind and helping willing grandparents obtain custody of their grandchildren.
SB 166 makes it easier for victims who are impregnated due to rape to terminate the rights of the rapist as a parent.
When he signed the bill on June 7, Sununu said a young woman who carried the burden of having to prove that her abuser shouldn't have any access to her or her child inspired the bill.
"With the passage of SB 166, this burden will no longer lie with the mother to prove anything," Sununu said.
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this story.