The New Hampshire College Democrats from the University of New Hampshire (UNH), Keene State College (KSC), and Saint Anselm College (SAC), Plymouth State University (PSU) and Dartmouth College came together to discuss the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and their hopes for the upcoming presidential and state elections.
They discussed how the future of the Democratic party would specifically affect politics in New Hampshire and the state’s Supreme Court on a Zoom call on Thursday Sept. 24.
The group has called multiple times for people to vote, but emphasized that voting alone would not fix all of the problems in the country, including the filling of Ginsburg’s position. Her death has been a source of conflict in the country as Republicans are currently attempting to fill her seat before the presidential election and Democrats are pushing the Republican-majority Senate to wait to fill her seat until after the election.
The New Hampshire College Democrats spoke about President Donald Trump and his plans to limit reproductive rights for women. They also talked briefly about Trump’s past and that he has bragged about assaulting women. They turned much of the focus of the meeting to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has supported anti-choice policies for women’s healthcare in the past.
The Treasurer of the KSC Democrats Hope Daley said that “while Donald Trump is trying to put an anti-choicer on the US Supreme Court, Chris Sununu is trying to do the same on the New Hampshire Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade the only thing protecting a woman’s right to choose in New Hampshire is our state Supreme Court and with Sununu as a governor our rights are at risk. Like Donald Trump, Chris Sununu is trying to pack New Hampshire courts with conservative ideologues who do not make science and data driven decisions. Chris Sununu and Donald Trump believe women should not be able to make their own choices and if elected would do anything in their power to stay away from reproductive health access.”
They went on to discuss that it is not just reproductive health care at risk. Trump’s plan to remove the Affordable Care Act put in place by Obama would also end protections for 572,000 people in New Hampshire with pre-existing conditions. The members of the meeting said that if it is repealed 105,000 people in New Hampshire would be kicked off of their health insurance plans.
Liam Pelosky, the President of PSU Democrats said that it’s very important to make clear that Trump and Sununu’s policies make it difficult for young people and women to access affordable health care. Pelosky said, “So when Donald Trump tries to put an anti-choice justice on the US Supreme Court Trump’s guy through and through Chris Sununu is going to do the same thing here to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”
“That’s why now more than ever we need a governor in New Hampshire that not only talks like he’s pro-choice but acts and votes like he’s pro-choice and Dan Feltes is that man and that future governor,” Pelosky said as a call to action for people to vote for Feltes in the election for New Hampshire governor in November. He continued on that Feltes, “would never ever allow insurance companies to refuse a medically necessary abortion, would never allow for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, nor would he every try to appoint anti-choice justices to lead the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”
The President of the UNH College Democrats Acadia Spear said, “A few years ago Sununu cast the deciding vote to defund Planned Parenthood and deprive New Hampshire women of not only access to reproductive care but also birth control, STI testing and treatment and breast and cervical cancer screenings. College students who need affordable healthcare services simply can’t afford the Trump-Sununu agenda which makes reproductive healthcare harder to get.”
Spear went on to say, “Sununu is putting restrictions on abortion that make a safe and legal procedure harder or even impossible to access. Sununu recently vetoed legislation that would’ve required insurance companies to cover abortion services which are sometimes medically necessary and can be very expensive especially for young people. Just like Donald Trump Chris Sununu will stop at nothing to put reproductive healthcare out of reach for New Hampshire college students.”
They ended the meeting with a call to action to young voters to register to vote and emphasized that protests and social media posts are not enough to change this country. They all concurred that people need to make sure all of their friends are voting in addition to themselves, and make sure they have a plan on how they will vote during COVID-19.