Vermont House of Representatives passes abortion rights amendment

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February 9, 2022

The Vermont legislature passed a constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would guarantee women’s reproductive rights, including the right to abortion.

Other states have passed laws guaranteeing a woman’s right to abortion, but Vermont would be the first to put that right in the state constitution, washington post informed.

The reproductive rights bill will be put on the ballot for the November election after the state House of Representatives approved the legislation on Tuesday. If approved, it would take effect immediately.

Pew Research Center Polls show that Vermont residents strongly support a woman’s right to an abortion, so the amendment has a good chance of passing, the newspaper said.

Legislatures in some states, including Texashave severely limited women’s right to abortion in recent years. Vermont abortion supporters said the constitutional amendment, known as Proposition 5, was necessary because the US Supreme Court is considering a mississippi law that could tip Roe vs. Wadethe ruling from the 1970s that guarantees a woman’s right to abortion.

“We can no longer rely on the federal courts to uphold fundamental reproductive rights protections based on the federal constitution,” Democratic state Rep. Ann Pugh said before the vote, according to The charge.

One opponent of the bill, Republican state Rep. Anne Donahue, said she assumes public opinion about abortion rights will not change, according to The charge.

“We as human beings have made a lot of mistakes at times when we thought we were doing the right thing,” Donahue said, citing previous Supreme Court rulings on issues like segregation. “When we start to put a current belief in the constitution, I think we are playing with fire.”

The amendment will not make it immediately easier or more difficult for Vermont women seeking abortions.

“What Proposition 5 means is that the Legislature and the governor will not determine what restrictions will be placed on abortion procedures,” said State Representative George Till, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center. The Associated Press.

The Guttmacher Institute says Vermont “does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions, such as waiting periods, mandatory parental involvement, or limitations on publicly funded abortions, that are often found in other states.”

In Vermont, amending the state constitution requires that an amendment be approved by two consecutive legislatures and then be approved in a statewide referendum.

The amendment passed both the House and Senate in 2019 and was approved again in the Senate in 2021. The charge informed.

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