Abortion shield bill passes without conscience protections

Proposed amendment ruled not ‘germane’ to the bill

By Guy Page

H89, the Abortion/transgender service provider shield bill, passed the Vermont House last week and now goes to the Senate. It protects providers of both services from virtually any legal consequences related to the performance of their work. 

Rep. Anne Donahue (R-Northfield) was among the 13 no votes (all Republicans except Democrat Dennis LaBounty of Caledonia County). Her proposed amendment to provide legal and employment protections for medical professionals who choose not to participate in either service on the grounds of conscience was ruled not germane (relevant) to the bill by Acting Speaker Rep. Emily Long, and no vote was taken. 

In her remarks following the vote, Donahue explained: “I cannot support a bill to protect those who choose to provide legally protected services when we – as one of only two states in the country – refuse to equally protect those who choose not to provide services for reasons of conscience. This bill makes some sense to protect providers against any chilling effect of laws in other states that are contrary to our laws and public policy, and I do not disagree with that concept. However, it lacks balance when it fails to protect providers against the chilling effect of the lack of legal protection in our state for their decisions to not participate in some services for ethical reasons, so I vote ‘no’.” 

H89 would: 

  • Define legally protected health care activity to include reproductive health care services and gender-affirming health care; 
  • Exempt cases involving tortious interference with legally protected health care activity from the SLAPP statute; 
  • Prohibit civil arrest of a person for purposes of abusive litigation concerning legally protected health care activity; 
  • Establish a new cause of action regarding tortious interference with legally protected health care activity; 
  • Prohibit a court from ordering a person to give testimony or a statement or produce documents or other things for use in connection with abusive litigation involving legally protected health care activity; 
  • Prohibit a public agency from cooperating in an interstate investigation or proceeding seeking to impose civil or criminal liability upon a person or entity for obtaining or providing legally protected health care; 
  • Establish a misdemeanor crime for using force or threat of force or physical obstruction to interfere with someone obtaining or providing legally protected health care; prohibit the extradition of a nonfugitive person in connection with abusive litigation in another jurisdiction; 
  • Prohibit a court from issuing a summons when a prosecution is pending in another state concerning legally protected health care activity or where a grand jury investigation concerning legally protected health care activity has commenced or is about to commence for a criminal violation of a law of the other state unless the acts forming the basis of the prosecution or investigation would also constitute an offense if occurring entirely in Vermont; and 
  • Expand eligibility to the Address Confidentiality Program to a person providing, assisting another person in obtaining, or obtaining for themselves reproductive health care services or gender-affirming health care services.

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Categories: Legislation

13 replies »

  1. Of course the Speaker denied Anne D’s proposed amendment, and declaring it “not germane”! That goes along with the fact that she removed Anne from the House Health Care Committee. Thanks again for trying Anne.

  2. So that means a provider or nurse cannot have religious objections to performing or assisting on late term abortions,. If they don’t perform or assist with the abortion, they will loose their licenses!!!!
    At the same time planned parenthood will convince your child or grandchild to change their gender without a parents consent and if they have mental health issues afterwards in later years—it’s too bad, you can’t sue the doctors for lying -this shield bill gives them protection!!! This was never discussed by any of the democrats of Article 22 but here they are now demanding that these providers be protected, not me!!! Just for lying, I think they should all be kicked out for breaking their Hippocratic oath to do no harm.

  3. So… Protecting the service providers from getting sued if they mess up, but not protecting service providers if they opt out of providing something against their conscience… wow, there’s a name for that type of healthcare.
    It starts when they decide God has no business in anything. I believe that is what this phrase in the House Speaker’s statement is saying, “grounds of conscience was ruled not germane (relevant) to the bill… “

  4. Funny, BTW, that’s what the draft-dodgers were using as an excuse as they fled to Canada during the Vietnam War.

  5. What if ‘gender-affirming care’ turns out to be the same can of worms as ‘Covid prevention’ when it turned out that masks don’t prevent spread but were mandated anyway, shut-downs did as much or more harm than the virus, vaccines were neither ‘safe or effective’. Isn’t the legislature being rather presumptuous especially considering all the controversy and late revisions of the standards of care by medical authorities and institutions in this and other countries?. Is the American pediatric association which approved the mRNA vaccine for toddlers, without any evidence of their need, efficacy or long term studies of potential harm really a good authority for the legislators to justify restrictions on citizens’ right to address harms done to them in Courts of law? Does the US Constitution even allow legislators to usurp the powers of the other branches of government in this respect? A court of law is the place to decide if an unjustified injury had been incurred, not a legislature. You have to wonder if even if ‘gender affirming care’ does pass whether it would even survive one coherent and persistent challenge in a court of law. It’s just an exercise in wishful thinking and partisan political intimidation. Let’s hope, however, that no medical providers in Vermont will ever act in a way that causes someone so much pain and disability that the have to resort to their constitutionally protected
    right to seek address

  6. Every single time you give immunity to one group of people you take away the rights of others.

    -In this case it appears that you take away the rights of parents to sue for redress of what might have happened to their children, and this appears to be with or without their consent.

    -It takes away the religious freedoms inherent in our culture, and forces people to do things that not only do not believe in, but strongly and morally stand against, (with good reason).

    -it will force some to have to leave our state for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for the sake of others who are trying to fit in, mentally unstable, confused, or being brainwashed by the mindless programming we call Tell-A-Vision.

    (Now I don’t want to hear it about “there are people out there who have this condition”, they’re always have been but if we were to set up society for only those small numbers of people who have a condition, society would no longer move forward which seems to be the direction we’re headed.

    Not long ago I spoke to a friend of mine who has three small children and almost half of his child’s class were confused about what gender they were. A change like that can only be done through brainwashing, chemicals, or societal manipulation it is NOT natural.)

  7. There are already medical providers in Vermont—remember UVMMC is run by planned parenthood—and we already know they plan on being the state’s primary provider of abortions at any stage of the pregnancy and transgender reassignment surgery at any age, without a parents consent including hormones and puberty blockers to chemically castrate children and surgeries that include removing breasts and hysterectomies too and who knows what other procedures. Why not—it makes them thousands of dollars and if this shield bill passes-they’ll be unstoppable. Look around ——Boston Children’s Hospital, Chicago Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth ( amongst others) are doing it also. They care little about the child or that child’s family. They care only for the income they will receive especially if there is multiple surgeries and even an attempt of reversing the procedure—it will make them more $. Remember how Covid was Pfizer’s cash cow—well this is planned parenthood’s cash cow!!!!!

  8. Planned parenthood is in the public schools drumming up business and every parent should be notified of this and to talk to their children about anything the teacher is telling them and not to keep it secret. It’s unconscionable to do that!!!!
    If the teachers Union is on board with grooming children and instructing teachers to talk to children as young as kindergarten about gender identity then they all should be charged with child abuse!!!! It is amoral to talk to children about one’s gender identity when the child has no idea what the hell you are talking about. They are children and teaching them to read, write, math and how to get along with others is all they should be taught. Don’t confuse them more and start them down a path of anxiety and depression issues that could result in bullying or being bullied and violence—aren’t they dealing with enough?

  9. What is happening in America happened in Germany in a similar way. Germany had a healthy middle-class before WWI. The ‘banksters’ a.k.a. Khazarian mafia have promulgated domestic and/or international wars throughout history. Transgenderism is just another ploy; to promote hedonism/to rob/steal in order to dehumanize a population. Vermont has now arrived; a beta-test worse than California in dealings with legislators with no moral compass, Republicans included.

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