N.H. State Rep Speaks of Past Abortion, Support for Abortion Amendment, While Rocking Newborn

Amanda Toll, the primary sponsor of New Hampshire Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 23, spoke while holding her week-old daughter.

Amanda Toll, D-Keene, speaks on the New Hampshire House floor Feb. 1.
Amanda Toll, D-Keene, speaks on the New Hampshire House floor Feb. 1. (photo: Screenshot / New Hampshire House of Representatives/YouTube )

A New Hampshire state legislator spoke from the floor in support of a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment and about her own past abortion while rocking her week-old daughter.

“I stand here today as one of the millions of people who has had an abortion. When I was a teenager, I accessed abortion care that has allowed me to go to college, to graduate school, to receive an M.Ed. [a master’s degree in education], to teach, and to be a state representative. And it allowed me to have my children when I was ready, both physically and emotionally, including the baby girl I gave birth to just last week,” state Rep. Amanda Toll, D-Keene, said during floor debate Thursday, Feb. 1.

While acknowledging that abortion is legal in New Hampshire, Toll expressed dismay that some states have restricted or banned abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, adding that the New Hampshire Legislature takes up anti-abortion bills each legislative session.

“Having my third child, a little girl, has reinvigorated my commitment to making sure that every Granite Stater, including Daniella, has the right to make their own reproductive decisions,” Toll said, while rocking inside a white blanket the week-old infant, who was wearing a mostly pink onesie.

Toll is the primary sponsor of New Hampshire Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 23, which seeks to add to the state Constitution “a fundamental right to abortion” through 24 weeks and after 24 weeks if a doctor deems it “necessary.”

Abortion is currently by state statute legal through 24 weeks in New Hampshire and after 24 weeks in cases where pregnancy threatens the life of the mother or a major bodily function of the mother and when the fetus is diagnosed with a fatal condition.

Toll, a former social studies teacher, teaches yoga. In 2019, she founded a vegan ice cream business called Ms. Amanda’s Compassionate Ice Cream, “which promotes animal welfare and feminism, in addition to deliciousness,” according to her campaign website.

Cornerstone Action, a pro-life Christian advocacy organization in New Hampshire, said the constitutional amendment Toll sponsored would, if enacted, allow Toll “to kill her daughter” shortly before birth.

“Let’s be clear: [A] woman's success and happiness should never have to come at the cost of her child’s life. This is a lie and women deserve better,” Cornerstone Action said in a written statement on social media.

After debate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 193-184 in favor of the measure, well short of the 60% majority needed to advance it. All Democrats voted for it. Most Republicans voted against it, although seven Republicans voted for it.

In New Hampshire, adding an amendment to the state Constitution requires 60% support in each chamber of the Legislature plus a two-thirds majority of voters at a state general election.

As the Register reported in January, the super-majority thresholds in New Hampshire make it harder to enact an abortion-supporting amendment to the state Constitution there than in states that require only a simple majority — such as Ohio, where voters in November 2023 approved a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment by a 57% to 43% majority; and Michigan, where voters approved a comparable state constitutional amendment in November 2022 by a similar margin.