By David T. Valentin
With reproductive rights under threat in many states across the United States, Vermont moves forward to secure reproductive rights to ensure women have the right to abort if need be.
The Reproductive Liberty Amendment, also known as Proposition 5, seeks to pass preserving the right to abortion into law, thus codifying the right to abortion in Vermont’s Constitution.
Lury Leriche, Vice President of Vermont Public Policy, says, “The Reproductive Liberty Amendment is important because it would protect every Vermonter’s right to make their own reproductive decisions, like whether and when to become a parent, use temporary or permanent birth control, or seek abortion care. It is critical that we ensure that the rights we rely on today won’t change tomorrow.”
The fight began back in 2019 when state senators Timothy Ashe, Becca Balint, Virginia Lyons, and Richard Sears sponsored the constitutional amendment during the Vermont General Assembly in 2019. The amendment eventually moved to the state house where the bill was approved 106-38. The amendment only needed 73 votes to pass.
Moving into 2021 and 2022, the amendment was then approved by the next Vermont General Assembly where after Prop 5 could appear on the ballot. Eventually, the amendment moved to the state senate where the bill passed yet again 26-4 and in the state house passed 107-41.
“In Vermont, we believe healthcare decisions should be made by an individual and a healthcare provider,” Speaker of the House, Jill Krowinski, and Representative Ann Pugh said in a statement following the passing of the amendment. “Today’s final legislative vote on the proposed amendment, which would guarantee reproductive liberty for all Vermonters, shows our commitment to this fundamental right. The timing is critical: Across the country, we are seeing attacks on reproductive liberty and the erosion of available services for reproductive liberty and the erosion of available services for reproductive health.”