Bucchieri: Skeptical about State ‘compelling interest’ in reproduction

By Wendy Bucchieri
This mid-term election the people of Vermont will be asked to vote on whether or not to amend the Vermont Constitution with Article 22. It reads:

Article 22-(Personal Reproductive Liberty) – That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.

The first thing I have to ask you is, do you understand what that means – not what you think it means, not what you are told it means – but what it is actually saying? Even those who created and sponsored this amendment admit that it is vague and said, “The courts will have to decide.” Are you kidding me? You want us to change the first section of the Constitution of Vermont, not changed since 1786, with undefined verbiage?

I don’t want to get into the weeds on this amendment in this article – though there are lots of weeds we could get into. Such as:

· It never says the word “Abortion”. Here in Vermont abortion is legal right up to the moment of birth and has been that way since 1973. H57 was passed 4+ years ago- to make darn sure it would remain legal in light of a potential conservative supreme court.

· It uses the word, ‘individual’, which means a man or a woman. It says nothing about how to settle a conflict between the woman’s right to reproduce and the man’s right to reproduce. I guess more sticky pudding for the courts to decide.

· It does not designate age and could be used to interfere with parental oversight of minors.

· It does not define what ‘personal reproductive autonomy’ means.

· It gives no conscience protections for those who do not agree with abortion, such as doctors, nurses, people of faith and Faith Institutions.

But there is one phrase in this article that every Vermonter should shudder at, whether you are pro-Life or Pro-Choice. I’m calling it the legislative sleeper cell. The word ‘Unless’. You can have all this liberty and personal reproductive autonomy, it can’t be denied or infringed upon ‘unless justified by a compelling state interest.’

Whaaaat? Whoa….let’s put on the brakes!

Is this saying what I think it is saying? I just kept feeling there was an endgame, a hidden agenda in this amendment. In a very sneaky way, Article 22 subverts our individual liberties and places them under, and subject to State Interests. Giving the state, which should have limited power over the individual – which our constitutions protect, a latent door that the state can access at a later date.

Now what could be a compelling state interest? After Covid lockdowns, masks, social distancing and compelled vaccinations to keep jobs, enter buildings or travel, it should not be a stretch of the imagination to believe that our government is more than willing to suspend our constitutional rights. Even as we speak, big tech in cahoots with government has attacked free speech and weaponized the FBI against US citizens. We are not in Kansas anymore!

I can think of one or two compelling arguments the state could make to over-ride your personal reproductive autonomy. Since the powers that be at present, are ever more determined to employ tyrannical methods similar to China and are totally beholden to the dictates of the World Economic Forum and Corporate billionaires, supporting globalism rather than the dictates of being a Constitutional Republic-for the people and by the people. Through the ‘Pandemic’ and ‘climate change’ they want us to surrender individual liberties for the ‘common good.’

The ‘common good’ and ‘compelling state interest’ might be limiting family size like China’s one child mandate. Perhaps a food shortage emergency would be the trigger, perhaps the ‘too many people’ crowd will deem it a compelling state interest to limit population growth by forcible means or the climate change crowd’s desire to reach ‘zero carbon emissions’- no cows, no people-no carbon.

Send a clear message back to Vermont’s legislators. Leave our Constitution alone! Vote No on Article 22!

The author is an Arlington resident.

Categories: Commentary

11 replies »

  1. Back in August I commented on a story that has a similar tone
    I only find it sad that it has taken anyone other than me, this long, to bring up the “STATE” interest in this new addition to our constitution. How high of a tower must I scream from people, how many times must I beg people to “get smarter” on this stuff. I am so tired of hearing how “I don’t have time for politics” and that kind of laziness. It is so prevalent in our Republic. Much like other laws, say, The Patriot Act, the NDAA, I could go on all day, at the “SAFETY ” laws put into place to make things better and instead have put a boot on the throat of we the people. If this law passes then you get what you deserve for your lack of due diligence. We should rename the state to Sodom.

  2. This author is 100% accurate. Please pass his comment on to anyone you might know who needs more info about the probable implications of this Bill. It is worded vaguely with no specifics on purpose and will lead to disastrous future situations for families & professionals which may all land in court decided by just a few judges all at taxpayers expense–both emotionally and monetarily. PLEASE VOTE “no’ on Prop 5/Article 22.

  3. One would think that the murder of an infant at birth would qualify as a “compelling state interest”. Duh.

  4. The “Compelling state interest’ actually protects the term ‘reproductive autonomy’ so guarantees to make the whole picture of this vague undefined Bill into a future nightmare.

  5. “Compelling state interest” can mean anything 5 Vermont Supreme Court Justices decide it means. Anything. Your ‘Yes’ vote November 8th subjugates your opinion, beliefs and actions to 5 (currently liberal) people to determine your fate.
    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” is not what we need.

    • I appreciate your statement/quote, “I’m from the gov’t and I’m here to help”.
      TRUE- it’s not what we need as our legislators of 48 years here in VT have proven that they do NOT have our best interests in mind and are following a national agenda to move us even further to the Left–total gov’t dependence–scary!. Spend, spend, spend and all is worse. So NOW is the time to finally vote and allow some Republicans into the Statehouse to change and balance decisions. Dems/Progs have had control far too long and it’s changing the face of our traditional, safe, beautiful state.

  6. Amen to what Steve Cairns said. I would say that the State of Vermont already has a compelling interest in providing equal protection of the law for preborn babies from the violence of abortion. They ought to uphold this before abnegating that responsibility.

  7. The ruling was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighed the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:

    We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.[18][A]

    Sounds like “compelling state interest” to me.