By Guy Page
A bill shielding abortion and transgender medical services providers from many forms of legal opposition was introduced today into the Vermont House of Representatives.
H-89 was co-sponsored by 113 members of the 150-member Vermont House of Representatives. No Republicans sponsored the bill, which was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Gov. Scott said at his press conference today he is generally in support of the bill, although he has not yet perused the details.
- 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.