Editor’s note: in her op-ed below, the author refers to “Sec. 1. under PURPOSE.” The entire first section of the section is published below. Emphasis added by editor.
Sec. 1. PURPOSE
(a) This proposal would amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to ensure that every Vermonter is afforded personal reproductive liberty. The Constitution is our founding legal document stating the overarching values of our society. This amendment is in keeping with the values espoused by the current Vermont Constitution. Chapter I, Article 1 declares “That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights.” Chapter I, Article 7 states “That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people.” The core value reflected in Article 7 is that all people should be afforded all the benefits and protections bestowed by the government, and that the government should not confer special advantages upon the privileged. This amendment would reassert the principles of equality and personal liberty reflected in Articles 1 and 7 and ensure that government does not create or perpetuate the legal, social, or economic inferiority of any class of people. This proposed constitutional amendment is not intended to limit the scope of rights and protections afforded by Article 7 or any other provision in the Vermont Constitution.
by Lynn Edmunds
If I wanted to overthrow the protections bestowed on you by your constitution, I would first need a polarizing issue like abortion to hide behind.
Next, I would use the political party in power to introduce their particular posture on the matter, knowing full well they could pass such a proposal.
It does not matter which side of an issue is used to create the division necessary for distracting
those about to lose their constitution, only that they cannot see beyond the tools of the agenda used to procure it.
Neither side can see what is happening when they are engaged in a blame game of drama and conflict against each other, yet the real prize will be taken equally from both sides in the end. This is because they do not realize how they are being played against each other for the liberty they both hold dear; however, the invisible enemy knows full well the real objective.
It’s difficult these days to know your enemy, especially when they are invisible to the naked eye. But should we assume just because Proposal 5, Article 22 was passed by the House and Senate all we must do now is vote yes or no without reading and understanding the language of the text?
Sec. 2. Article 22 of Chapter I of the Vermont Constitution is added to read:
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.
If you read the entire proposal before you vote, you will see it contains two great unknown quantities.
The first question is, what justifies a compelling State interest?
The second is found in (Sec. 1. under PURPOSE), who are the privileged, that government should not confer special advantages to?
I suspect the privileged would not be allowed equal rights under this amendment, whoever they are?
The food fight over abortion rights is only a distraction to divide us into two camps, knowing the majority in the legislature could pass a proposal in support of reproductive rights in Vermont.
But the language of this amendment is the real prize sought after no matter which side of abortion rights you are on, if we fail to recognize this, nothing will remain sacred!
Do you feel this amendment affords you more protection, or does it simply give government more options for your control?
It might be a good idea to read the proposal before you vote!