Montpelier, VT — There were many reactions at Vermont’s State Capitol on Wednesday to the Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Legislative leaders are touting a permanent solution in Vermont’s constitution while one pro-life organization is accusing leaders of being irresponsible.
This November, Vermont voters will consider Prop 5, a reproductive liberty amendment to the state’s constitution.
In the Cedar Creek Room at the Vermont Statehouse, the state’s Lieutenant Governor and Senate President vow to fight to protect reproductive rights. “I have to admit I was first deeply concerned with a draft opinion being leaked because of what that means for the process,” said Lt. Governor Molly Gray.
“What I thought about where all of the women who I know in my life who had made decisions with their doctors to have abortions and what that meant for them personally,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint.
The draft opinion leaked earlier this week indicates the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade with several states poised to ban abortions. Senator Balint is pushing to put protections in the state constitution. “We have an incredible opportunity here in Vermont to pass this reproductive liberty amendment to our constitution and it’s going to take all of us up here and all of the legislators that support this work to get out in the field and make sure this passes on the ballot in November.”
Proposition 5 would make Vermont the first state in the country to guarantee the right to abortion in its constitution. Mary Hahn Beerworth, Executive Director of Vermont’s Right to Life Committee says elected officials are misleading Vermonters. “That draft is not final so all this hysteria out there is all about something that may not ever see the light of day. Elected officials are irresponsibly conjuring up the idea that we need Proposal 5, an amendment to our constitution to protect abortion in Vermont that is so disingenuous and misleading idea to plant.”
Meanwhile Lt. Governor Gray says it is important for Vermonters to keep having conversations about this topic “with their neighbors family and friends start building awareness and understanding of what it would mean to have this proposition on the ballot.”
If approved by voters in November, the amendment will take effect immediately.