Planned Parenthood vote is bad for business

Companies in NH want predictability and practicality from government, not ideology and political posturing

The recent 3-2 vote by the Executive Council to defund Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is not only bad public policy for New Hampshire women and families, it’s also a bad business decision for our state. 

The shifting ideological wind in Concord these past few years does not make for a positive, stable business environment. 

Companies looking to do business in New Hampshire want predictability and practicality from state government. What they don’t want is a political environment beset by ideological and political posturing.

With this vote, many New Hampshire women’s basic health care needs, like birth control and cancer screenings, are in jeopardy. 

We shouldn’t be sending out mixed signals concerning the state’s commitment to health care, especially when it comes to meeting women’s health needs in a state with above-average health care costs.

Here are two important facts to consider about this important health care matter: no state money would have gone to fund abortions; Planned Parenthood of Northern New England has nothing to do with the disturbing videos concerning the purported sale of fetal tissue

My own executive councilor, Chris Sununu, who voted with the majority in this misguided vote, ought to know better. In the past, he has supported Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. With this vote, he as well as Councilors Joseph Kenney and David Wheeler are jeopardizing health care services for more than 12,000 New Hampshire women.

Providing important and needed medical services for all New Hampshire citizens ought to be the chief concern of our elected leaders. 

Voting suddenly to defund a contract with an organization that has been providing needed health services for women and families for many years just sends the wrong message to businesses about how our state government works — or doesn’t work. 

New Hampshire does not need Don Quixote-like tilting at imagined and invented windmills. The politics of division does not help New Hampshire’s future. We ought to look beyond the same old tired, ideological battles and instead truly focus on the needs of all Granite Staters. 

We need a New Hampshire that is open for business for everyone — not a state that places some of its most vulnerable citizens in harm’s way.

New Hampshire places in the bottom half of states concerning health care costs for its citizens. Further financially burdening women for needed services is not only unfair and wrong, but it is just bad business policy for our state.

This vote by the Executive Council is a step backward in an economy where we compete globally for workers and businesses. The days of New Hampshire growing its worker base by 50 percent, as it did in the 1970s are long gone. 

Shortsighted public policies, like defunding critical health services, won’t do anything to help us compete for business and workers. This vote should serve as wakeup call to all concerned citizens that this is the wrong path for New Hampshire women, families and, yes, our economy. 

Mark Connolly, former director of the NH Bureau of Securities Regulation, is principal of New Castle Investment Advisors, Portsmouth.

Categories: Opinion