- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. (AP) - Gov. Maggie Hassan has apologized to a group of fourth-graders whose bill designating the red-tailed hawk as New Hampshire’s official raptor received negative comments from some state lawmakers.

Hassan visited the students at Lincoln Akerman School in Hampton Falls on Tuesday, thanking them for their efforts and encouraging them to remain engaged in the democratic process.

The students said they appreciated the visit.

The bill failed March 12 after a debate in which a legislator invoked abortion, arguing the bird rips apart its prey “limb by limb” and would make a good mascot for Planned Parenthood. Other lawmakers said the students’ effort was frivolous.

Sen. Jeff Woodburn says he’ll attach the hawk language to a bill seeking to name the bobcat the state’s official wildcat to “right a serious wrong.”

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