In 2019, four Vermont senators issued an amendment to the Vermont State Constitution with the intent to secure the “right to reproductive liberty” for residents of Vermont. The Vermont Legislature is scheduled to vote on the amendment on Tuesday.
The bill would essentially allow abortions up until the child physically passes through the birth canal, creating one of the most permissive and horrific abortion regimes in the country.
Here is the supposed logic: the amendment seeks to ensure that every person in Vermont has the right to ‘reproductive liberty.’ However, the 3 page amendment does not provide a strong definition of what reproductive liberty is.
The only explanations the authors offer come from chapter one of the Vermont Constitution. Specifically, Article 1 and Article 7. Article 1 declares that “all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, and unalienable rights.”
Article 7 essentially states that the government should exist for the benefit and protection of the citizens of Vermont.
The authors of this amendment interpreted these two articles of the Constitution of the State of Vermont to ensure that the “government does not create or perpetuate the legal, social, or economic inferiority of any class of people.”
The appearance of the law on the ballot is equally vague: “The right to reproductive liberty is central to the exercise of personal autonomy and involves decisions people should be able to make free from the compulsion of the State. Enshrining this right in the Constitution is critical to ensuring equal protection and treatment under the law and upholding the right of all people to health, dignity, independence, and freedom.”
This may sound relatively benign, but the implications of this bill are horrifying. If passed and voted into law, Vermont will allow abortions up until birth. Planned Parenthood Action spells it out clearly. Vermonters will be able to choose to have an abortion at any point. Additionally, the amendment makes no explanation or definition of what it means to be “viable” as defined by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Roe v. Wade defined viable as starting at the third trimester. Although viability has changed as knowledge of fetal viability has increased. If Proposal 5 passes, then a child does not become viable until it is physically out of the womb.
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This proposal is rife with a lack of foresight and outright sinister intentions. It is telling that the authors of the amendment specifically chose Articles 1 and 7 as supporting material. Article 1 specifies that “all persons born” have unalienable rights. Article 7 states that the government should be there for the protection and benefit of the people.
In using these two articles in tandem, the legislatures have expressed that they have no intention of protecting the unalienable rights of the unborn. The unborn are not counted as people and therefore, the government of Vermont will take no responsibility for protecting those who cannot protect themselves. They are more interested in protecting the right “to determine one’s own life course.”
In other words, Vermont lawmakers are more concerned with protecting their citizens from having to take personal responsibility for their actions than they are in protecting the lives of the unborn. It is nothing short of extreme and satanic selfishness to prioritize one’s life interests over the life of another human being.
The passing of Proposal 5 could have nationwide effects and as such, if an amendment such as Proposal 5 is signed into law, then the Supreme Court may have another abortion-specific case to take on.
The Supreme Court is set to make a decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in the near future. The Mississippi law in question “prohibits all abortions, with few exceptions, after 15 weeks.” In essence, it defines fetal viability at 15 weeks.
Although this Mississippi law is a step in the right direction, Proposal 5 is a monumental step in the opposite direction, and the moral consequences of this amendment, if it passes, cannot be understated.
Both of these laws exacerbate the seemingly unbridgeable divide between the pro-life and pro-choice crowds, and both have made the political climate significantly more complex and divisive.