A Vermont Catholic bishop expressed strong concerns Monday about a state pro-abortion bill that would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth.
Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington echoed the words of an Albany, New York bishop in condemning the legislation as “aggressive extremism,” the Bennington Banner reports.
“My concern is, we’re going so far, we’re in a place now where we’re going pass a bill like they did in New York where a child right up to the moment of birth can be aborted,” Coyne said. “I can’t say anything (about) that?”
The Vermont bill, state House Bill 57, is very similar to a law that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed last week. It would recognize abortion as a “fundamental human right” and ensure that the government does not deny, restrict or infringe upon a woman’s “right” to abort her unborn baby.
Pro-abortion state Reps. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, and Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, are the lead sponsors, but 89 other lawmakers also have signed on as co-sponsors, according to the Vermont Digger. Even Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he supports the bill, according to the report.
The legislation could become part of a constitutional amendment to allow abortion on demand in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the local news continued.
Coyne said he is concerned that the bill could pass, and plans to write an open letter in opposition to the bill.
“We face a real uphill climb,” he said.
Earlier this month, Mary Hahn Beerworth of Vermont Right to Life Committee told One News Now that the bill ignores the right to life in the Declaration of Independence.
“Vermont … has legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy without a single restriction or regulation on the practice of abortion – not even that a doctor perform the procedure; no limit on how late into pregnancy; and … legalized physician-assisted suicide. And now it wants to enshrine death into the Vermont Constitution,” she said.
The abortion giant Planned Parenthood is one of the key groups lobbying for the bill.
“States are a critical backstop to the further erosion and restriction of reproductive health care. We must pass the House abortion rights bill and the Senate equal rights constitutional amendment to ensure that reproductive rights are protected in Vermont,” Meagan Gallagher of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England told WCAX.
Bioethics lawyer Wesley Smith described just how extreme the bill is:
This means a healthy, viable baby could be killed at 8 months, thirty days gestation. It means the abortion could be delayed or done in a manner to permit organ harvesting. It means that a fetus whose brain was sufficiently developed to experience pain could be torn slowly apart in the womb in the most agonizing manner. It would also allow sex-selection abortion and, if it were ever possible to determine, termination to prevent a gay baby from being born.
And what are we to make of this provision?
(c) A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law.At the very least, it would fully authorize the horrible fetal-part selling practices in which Planned Parenthood was caught engaging (the videos about which have now been validated by a federal court).
Polls indicate the legislation is radically out of touch with most Americans’ views on abortion. According to a national poll conducted by Marist University, three in four Americans (75 percent) say abortion should be limited to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. This includes most of those who identify as Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and a majority of Democrats (60 percent). It also includes more than six in 10 (61 percent) who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion.
A May 2018 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.
ACTION: Contact the Vermont legislature here with your opposition.