A state Republican lawmaker was filmed screaming at abortion rights protesters from the steps of the New Hampshire State House on Thursday, calling them “murderers” and accusing them of “killing babies.”
“Shame on all of you. Shame on you, killing babies,” Rep. Susan DeLemus screamed in the footage shared by Colin Booth, legislative communications director for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
DeLemus also pointed to members of the crowd and yelled, “You’re a murderer” repeatedly.
“I’m a murderer. I murdered my own baby,” she continued, apparently referring to an abortion she has spoken about in the past. In 2012, while arguing in favor of a bill that would require women to wait 24 hours before undergoing an abortion, DeLemus said she’d had an abortion more than two decades earlier, and had “murdered my baby.”
She also spoke about the abortion earlier this year, while advocating for legislation that would give a biological father the right try to block a woman’s abortion in court.
The crowd at the State House had been chanting “shame on you” when the video began and DeLemus first started shouting.
“Rep. DeLemus is not an anomaly” in New Hampshire politics, Booth tweeted after sharing the video. “There are dozens of @NHGOP elected officials just like her in New Hampshire. People like this actually decide public policy here.”
The incident occurred as protests erupt around the country amid uproar over the leaked Supreme Court draft majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that gave women the right to access abortions.
State legislatures will likely serve as the main battlegrounds for abortion rights if Roe is overturned.
DeLemus defended her actions in an interview with a local newspaper later on Thursday.
“Just because it’s legal, abortion doesn’t mean that I did not kill another human being, and that’s my stance,” DeLemus told the Foster’s Daily Democrat. “That was what the yelling was about. I raised my voice and tried to be loud to be heard by the chanting crowd.”
Her outburst drew criticism from abortion-rights groups and Democrats.
“It’s an embarrassment to Rochester,” state Rep. Chuck Grassie told the Daily Democrat. “She has no concern about the decorum and how a state representative should act.”
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England told the newspaper “No one should face threats, intimidation, or shame when accessing” or advocating for health care, including safe and legal abortions.
DeLemus is married to Jerry DeLemus, an Oath Keepers associate who spent five years in prison for his role in the armed 2014 Bunkerville standoff between law enforcement and anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy in Nevada.
The couple unsuccessfully attempted to get a pardon for Jerry DeLemus from Donald Trump during the former president’s final days in office.