Concord, NH - Does Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne support repealing New Hampshire's 12-year-old law guaranteeing women equity in contraceptive coverage? Yesterday, House Speaker Bill O'Brien announced that he would seek to repeal New Hampshire's law, after it was suddenly brought to his attention by national Republican insiders over a decade after it was passed.
"Lamontagne needs to tell the women of New Hampshire whether as governor he would take away equal protection for birth control coverage, and add hundreds of dollars a year to their health care costs," said Terie Norelli, Democratic Leader in the House.
A Republican-led House passed the law in 1999 requiring insurers to treat contraceptive prescriptions the same way they treat other prescriptions. SB175 passed the House 243-85, with 120 Republicans, 121 Democrats, and two Independents voting in favor of the measure. It passed the Senate in similar bi-partisan fashion, and had four Republican co-sponsors.
"I voted for this law because it is about fairness and equity. Women deserve to have their prescriptions covered the same way other prescriptions, like Viagra, are covered," said Norelli.
Lamontagne has already made clear that he will serve as a rubber stamp for Bill O'Brien's agenda, showing up last week to support their efforts to repeal same-sex marriage and collective bargaining rights for employees. Another Republican gubernatorial candidate, Kevin Smith, showed up at yesterday's Republican leadership press conference to support repealing birth control coverage for women.
"Ovide Lamontagne needs to tell us now: Does he stand with the Republican Leadership in the legislature or for fairness for the women of New Hampshire," added Norelli.