Despite the backlash against New York's new abortion law across the country, more blue states intend to adopt similar measures. Pro-abortion lawmakers in Vermont introduced a bill last week to allow abortion on demand up to birth and hope to eventually enshrine abortion rights with an amendment in the state's constitution.
More than 90 members of Vermont's House co-sponsored a bill that recognizes abortion as a fundamental right. If passed, the legislation would make it illegal for any state or local law enforcement to prosecute licensed professionals for performing abortion procedures regardless of the stage of pregnancy.
“The General Assembly intends this act to safeguard the right to abortion in Vermont by ensuring that right is not denied, restricted, or infringed by a governmental entity,” the bill says.
"Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion," it continues. "A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law."
According to the Vermont Digger, the state does not currently have any laws that explicitly protect abortion rights and that the only protections for abortion access in Vermont come from Roe v. Wade.
Life Site News notes that unlike New York's new law, the Vermont measure does not include language stripping unborn babies from state homicide laws, but the state already lacks protections for babies killed in attacks on pregnant mothers.
Writing for National Review, the Discovery Institute’s Wesley Smith warned that the bill’s explicit denial of any prenatal rights “would fully authorize the horrible fetal-part selling practices in which Planned Parenthood was caught engaging,” and “could also permit odious practices beyond abortion, for example creating a free space for germ-line genetic engineering” or keeping preborn humans “in an artificial womb for purposes of experimentation.”
Addressing a crowd of pro-abortion activists last week, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe announced the legislation.
"We need a Vermont where every Vermonter should feel free to make their personal decisions about their sexual and reproductive health care," said Johnson. "They should be guaranteed unrestricted access to the doctors and the procedures that encompass the full range of that care, including abortion care."
Lawmakers hope to turn the bill into an amendment to ensure on-demand access to abortions in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“In order for the amendment to proceed, it would have to gain a majority vote in the House and two-thirds' vote in Senate this session and again next year for Vermonters to vote on it in 2022. It would go into effect the next year,” explained One News Now.
States are taking radical measures to protect women's access to abortions in fear that an increasingly conservative Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade. Last week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the controversial Reproductive Health Act, which permits mothers to terminate their pregnancies up until birth.
Cuomo defended the new law on Tuesday, stating: "In the face of a federal government intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and women's reproductive rights, I promised that we would enact this critical legislation within the first 30 days of the new session — and we got it done."
"It's bittersweet," he added. "There is a bitterness because we shouldn't be here in the first place. We should not have a federal government that is trying to roll back women's rights ... This administration defies American evolution."
Cuomo has also stated that he would like to see the state's new abortion law enshrined in the state's constitution.
"I want to pass a constitutional amendment that writes into the constitution a provision protecting a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health. We’ll pass it next year; we’ll put it onto the ballot; we’ll write it into the constitution," said Cuomo, adding, "I have no doubt that Gorsuch is going to reverse Roe v. Wade. So what do we do? Protect ourselves. Pass a law that is a prophylactic to federal action."
According to Vermont Right to Life Committee leader Mary Hahn Beerworth, Vermont's bill is proof of the power of Planned Parenthood in the state.
"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.
"We refer to Planned Parenthood here as the fourth branch of government," added Beerworth, "and every year they simply deliver their wish list. They have so many clinics per capita here that they dominate the political scene."
The Vermont Digger reports that the bill currently in the House Committee on Human Services and is taking public testimony, and will soon move to the Senate, where it would join an equal rights constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion rights in Vermont’s founding document. That, however, could take years to ratify. Perhaps by then Vermont will have rediscovered its morality and recognize the evil in on-demand abortion.
Photo of Vermont state capitol: kickstand/iStock/Getty Images Plus