Vermont Amendment Would Legalize Abortions Up to Birth, Baby “Shall Not Have Independent Rights Under Law”

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 14, 2019   |   11:16AM   |   Montpelier, Vermont

As one radical pro-abortion bill moves through the Vermont legislature, state lawmakers introduced yet another this week with the hopes of keeping abortion on demand legal for years to come.

The newest bill would amend the Vermont Constitution to ensure that women can still abort their unborn babies in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The VT Digger reports lawmakers discussed the legislation Wednesday during a state Senate Health and Welfare Committee hearing.

“I don’t have a crystal ball but I believe that once there’s language that’s finalized, I believe that we’ll be really close,” said Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a pro-abortion Democrat. “It’s my expectation that we will have a vote on the Senate floor, and I’ll be pushing to make it pass.”

Last year, Ashe promised to make the amendment a key priority, according to the report. To amend the constitution, the legislature must approve the amendment by two-thirds majority, and then voters also must approve it on a statewide ballot.

The amendment would add the following language to the state 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.”

State pro-life advocates warned the committee that the language could have dangerous and unexpected consequences.

Sharon Toborg of the Vermont Right to Life Committee said the amendment not only could allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth, it also could be interpreted to allow parents to genetically modify their unborn babies for certain desired traits, according to the report.

Toborg also said the threat of Roe v. Wade being overturned is not as imminent as Democrats claim.

“As much as I would like to see Roe overturned I just don’t see it happening any time in the future,” she said. “I can’t even believe that someone would testify seriously that that’s a realistic expectation.”

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Pro-abortion Democrats, however, continued to insist that the bill is necessary to protect women’s “right” to abortion. State Sen. Ginny Lyons, the sponsor of the amendment, said Vermont needs more than just a law to protect abortion.

“It asserts a right, and a law can be changed, so a law is much more mutable than a constitutional amendment,” Lyons said. “A law could be overturned as the result of a Supreme Court decision, but the Constitution is different.”

“Our goal is to have language that is legally defensible and reflects values we have in this state,” she continued.

But polls indicate that few people share the so-called “values” that include aborting an unborn baby for any reason up to birth. A May 2018 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans oppose all or most abortions.

Similarly, a national poll by Marist University found that 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.

Despite strong public opposition, Vermont lawmakers also are pushing a radical pro-abortion bill that would keep abortions legal and unrestricted for basically any reason up to birth. It passed the state House in February, and is expected to pass the Senate.

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.

Prior to the final vote, House lawmakers rejected amendments that would have allowed some minor, common-sense abortion regulations, including parental notification for minors and counseling.

Pro-life leaders in Vermont said the bill also could hurt women because it prohibits “any individual” from being prosecuted for an abortion or attempted abortion. This would include back alley abortionists and abusers who try to force women to abort unborn babies.

ACTION: Contact Vermont state senators.