The Pen

Vermont Senate Passes Amendment Establishing a “Right” to Abortion, Abortions Allowed Up to Birth

Vermont Senate has now passed an Amendment that could legalize abortions and deny rights to babies before birth. Proposal 5, which legalizes abortion in Vermont if Roe v. Wade is overturned, has moved on to House for consideration after a vote of 28-2. In agreement with a House bill approved earlier this year, the proposal would protect legalized abortion in Vermont legislatively and constitutionally.

If passed the following statement would be added to the state’s constitution:

“That the people are guaranteed the liberty and dignity to determine their own life’s course. 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.”

One of the two opposing votes, James McNeil says, “I do believe in women’s rights, but I also believe in the rights of a fetus — an unborn child,”

For this Proposal to be added to the Vermont Constitution it would have to go through many hoops and would be a slow process. A Vermont newspaper states:

“Amending the state constitution would take years. In addition to Thursday’s Senate vote, a majority of the House must concur; then, the matter would be taken up by both bodies again in the 2021-22 legislative biennium. If both the Senate and the House approve the measure again, then the amendment would be submitted for voter approval. Proposal 5 currently contains an effective date of November 2022.”