Belknap delegation divided on beginning of life

CONCORD — Although a bill declaring that life begins at conception failed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives Tuesday by a margin of more than two-to-one — 214 to 95 — it won a narrow majority of nine-to-seven among the 16 voting members from Belknap County.

Eight Republicans — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Don Flanders, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia and Bob Greemore of Meredith — were joined Democrat David Huot of Laconia in support of the bill. Two Republicans — Charles Fink of Belmont and Colette Worsman of Meredith were absent and did not vote.

The remaining four Democrats in the delegation — Reps. Beth Arsenault of Laconia, Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — and Republicans Dennis Fields of Sanbornton and Michael Sylvia of Belmont voted against the bill.