Voters being asked to outlaw slavery AND allow killing of living beings
by Martin Green
At the conclusion of Ed Olsen’s letter to the editor in the 10/6/22 issue of the News & Citizen and Stowe Reporter, the editor printed a disclaimer stating that abortion rights activists do not advocate for routine, late-term abortions. By stating this, the editor could not have provided better evidence for one reason voters should vote no to Article 22. It is not just abortion rights activists, but the overwhelming majority of citizens, who believe that late-term abortion, routine or otherwise, is wrong and do not support it.
Among numerous problems with the wording of Article 22, the most glaring is that it fails to include any language whatsoever which would prohibit late-term abortions. Can you imagine, for example, an article in our state constitution which abolished slavery, yet contained language which permitted it under certain circumstances? Oh wait, this is exactly why Proposal 2 is also on the ballot right next to Article 22. The irony here could not be more obvious.
It is of great significance that there are now two referendums to amend the Vermont Constitution on the ballot. How clear can it be, fellow citizens? Is this paradox lost on us that Vermont voters are being asked to decide whether or not our state constitution should spell out that it is wrong for any reason to enslave a human being, while simultaneously asking us to decide whether or not to enshrine a supposed right to kill a late-term preborn human baby in the womb? In fact, the reason for Proposal 2, known as the “Prohibit Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment”, is because the original wording in our Constitution never specifically indicated that slavery would be illegal for any reason. And yet, we are about to vote on a proposed amendment, Article 22, which allows, because of its vagueness and lack of specificity, for preborn babies to be aborted at late term.
Since Article 22’s inception, why has not one legislator or physician supporting this proposed amendment ever written or spoken even a single word to include language which specifically states that late-term abortion is unacceptable in Vermont? If a preborn infant aborted in late term is not really a human being with arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, a beating heart, the capability of feeling pain, and functioning organs and systems, why would a death certificate, as Dr. George Till informs us, ever be required? Why would an ethics committee ever need to be involved unless there was some inkling that abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy might possibly be considered by the majority of physicians to be unethical? When does true healthcare ever seek to do anything to patients which might possibly be considered unethical? Since when do we intentionally kill a patient because she might possibly face profound mental or physical challenges, or die shortly after being born? Would we still do this, knowing full well she is a human being deserving the right to life and equal protection of the law?
Whether or not more late-term abortions are or will be committed in Vermont is a moot point. If there is no language specifically prohibiting it, this is tacit approval of it. To fail to speak against something this heinous and clearly not supported by the majority of Vermont voters really is to speak. Those who failed to speak against the genocide of Jewish persons in Europe in the 1940s; those who failed to speak against slavery in the United States; and those who have not spoken against Article 22 which permits late-term abortions, have already spoken. Their silence has actually spoken very loudly.
Not one of us has the right or authority to decide who is human and who is not. Different governments at different periods in history keep trying this, and it has never worked out well. Constitutional amendments have always been intended to correct grave injustices, not promote or enshrine them. Even if you are pro-choice, please understand that you are not obligated to vote to approve Article 22.
Will the voters of Vermont choose to shed this veil of deception which justifies the killing of innocent preborn babies in the second and third trimesters under the monikers of personal autonomy and reproductive liberty? Will we work to transform our culture to be one of compassion which upholds the law by protecting the most defenseless among us? Or will we find ourselves on the wrong side of history by enshrining as a constitutional right that which is abhorrent and unconscionable: late-term abortion? Let’s not, and vote no to Article 22 while we still have the opportunity to do what’s right.
The author is a Morrisville resident.