The Vermont House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 106-38 in favor of a constitutional amendment that would make abortion-on-demand and until birth a right in the state. according to True North Reports. The state Senate had previously voted 28-2 in favor of the constitutional amendment known as Proposition 5. The proposed amendment must now survive votes in both the House and Senate during the 2020 legislative year before heading to Vermonters for final approval or disapproval.
“I just want to make sure you are all aware that this is making news all across the country,” said Rep. Vicki Strong (R). “We are going to this extreme, and I’ve heard from alumni from my college from 40 years ago, who are hearing about this in Texas, and emailing me saying to stand strong for life.”
House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy (R) noted that if this amendment passes it will be very difficult to reverse. Rep. Cynthia Browning (D) pointed out that if the amendment does pass, it puts pro-life lawmakers in the position of being unable to swear to uphold the state constitution.
“I’m incredulous that we would be adding a constitutional amendment to protect the rights of abortion with no consideration for Vermonters who cannot support that position and who need to be able to take a voters oath to uphold the constitution, which would now include something that they cannot support,” she said.
“I’m incredulous that this issue never arose in the committee; it never occurred to someone, or if it did it was not something to be investigated,” she said.
Other legislators are concerned that the amendment will cause problems for future generations and their yet-to-be-determined ideas of “reproductive autonomy,” saying it could be used for men to not be forced into parenthood or to pay child support.
“I’m seriously trying to find out whether we are going to be putting at risk reproductive rights as a result of this, and if we are putting at risk children who should be supported by their fathers,” said Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R).
That fear stems from the fact that the proposition doesn’t include the word “abortion” and ironically states that people “are guaranteed the liberty and dignity to determine their own life’s course.” Vermont lawmakers seem to have forgotten that abortion ends a life and is completely undignified as innocent preborn children die by being cut off from their food supply, ripped apart, or by lethal injection.
“The right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty protected by this Constitution and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means,” reads the proposition. In other words, a woman would be able to get an abortion right up until birth for any reason in Vermont and it will be a state right. Abortion-on-demand is already legal in Vermont, but this proposition will make it part of the state Constitution, protecting legal abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
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