Vermont House Passes Bill Legalizing Abortion Up to Birth, Baby “Shall Not Have Independent Rights Under Law”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 22, 2019   |   10:49AM   |   Montpelier, Vermont

The Vermont House passed a radical pro-abortion bill Thursday that would keep abortions legal and unrestricted for basically any reason up to birth.

Vermont House Bill 57 passed overwhelmingly in a 106-36 vote. Lawmakers also rejected 12 amendments that would have allowed some minor, common-sense abortion regulations, including parental notification for minors and counseling, News 44 WFFF reports.

The legislation now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Gov. Phil Scott, a pro-abortion Republican, has not said if he will sign the bill.

Similar to a law that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed in January, the Vermont bill 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.

Vermont already is one of the few states that allows unrestricted abortions up to birth. However, House Democrats said the law is needed because the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade in the near future.

“Today’s vote is the first step in ensuring the next generation of Vermont women have the same access to reproductive and abortion care that Vermont women have had for the last 46 years,” House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said.

Pro-abortion Democrats rejected several amendments that have strong public support, including a requirement that parents of an underage girl be notified before she has an abortion.

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Prior to voting, state Rep. Brian Smith said it is ridiculous that a 12-year-old girl must have a parent’s permission to get a flu shot but not an abortion in Vermont, Seven Days Vermont reports.

“We’re about to give 12-year-olds the right to get an abortion, and I don’t think that’s right,” Smith said.

Several female lawmakers expressed concerns for young girls as well.

WCAX reported their comments:

“This is not about limiting access. This is about protecting children. Protecting those who are not yet at the point of having full maturity to make a decision, and in fact, aren’t permitted to make other health care decisions,” said Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield. …

“It astounds me that you cannot in school give a child an aspirin because they might have a negative reaction to it, but at the same time it is perfectly fine to tell a child, ‘if you are pregnant and want an abortion, that’s great.’ Don’t worry about telling your parents,” said Rep. Marianna Gamache.

Pro-life leaders in Vermont have warned that the bill would not protect women from dangerous back alley abortionists either.

Fox News reports a companion piece to the bill would prohibit health care workers who perform legal abortions from being “subject to any civil, criminal, or administrative liability and penalty.” The bill also would prohibit “any individual” from being prosecuted for an abortion or attempted abortion.

“Planned Parenthood says trust us, and everybody loves Planned Parenthood here. They’ve dominated the state for decades,” said Mary Hahn Beerworth, executive director of the Vermont Right to Life Committee. “But they’re not thinking, or they don’t care, that somebody could just move here tomorrow and undercut Planned Parenthood for price and run a Gosnell-like clinic.”

Beerworth said the bill would allow abortionists like Kermit Gosnell to continue practicing without consequences. A Philadelphia abortionist, Gosnell was convicted of murdering three newborn babies and contributing to the death of a female patient, as well as dozens of other crimes in 2013.

“There’d be nothing we could do about” someone like Gosnell if House Bill 57 passes, Beerworth said.

Polls indicate the legislation is radically out of touch with most Americans’ views on abortion. According to a national poll 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 Republicans (92 percent), Independents (78 percent) and 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 Vermont Senators here with your opposition.