It’s on! Donahue accepts Pugh offer to debate Article 22

By Guy Page

Two of the most experienced, knowledgeable, articulate Vermont legislators on the subject of abortion law – one pro-choice, the other pro-life – appear poised to debate Article 22, the proposed amendment to the Vermont Constitution, on live radio.

Appearing on WVMT’s Morning Drive radio program (6/22), Rep. Ann Pugh (D-South Burliington and longtime chair of the House Human Service Committee) said in response to the hosts that she was open to debate the merits of Proposal 5/Article 22, the proposed amendment to the Vermont Constitution that would establish a universal right to “personal reproductive autonomy.” It has been a month since that debate request, and no debate has taken place, either featuring Pugh or any of her colleagues.

Rep. Anne Donahue (R-Northfield, vice-chair of House Health Care Committee), a spokesperson for Vermonters for Good Government, today formally offered to accept the challenge to discuss and debate the pros and cons of Article 22, both on the Morning Drive and in other appropriate venues.

Proponents of Article 22, such as Pugh, are telling Vermonters that this amendment would protect women’s rights to abortion by codifying Roe v. Wade in the Vermont constitution. Opponents of Article 22, who are both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, are concerned that the actual language of the proposed amendment is problematic on a number of levels.

First, Article 22 goes far beyond Roe v. Wade in that it would allow for no legal prohibition or regulation of abortion at any time during pregnancy, up to nine months, Vermonters for Good Government Executive Director Matthew Strong said. 

Even a majority of people who identify as Pro-Choice do not support abortion on demand in the late term, after an unborn child is developed enough to be viable outside the womb, Strong said. As such, Article 22 is far out of sync with Vermonters’ true values regarding abortion policy.

Second, the phrasing of Article 22, which specifically does not mention women, abortion, pregnancy, or bodily autonomy, is highly problematic, Strong claimed. How future courts will interpret an individual right to “personal reproductive autonomy” is unclear, not just in regard to abortion, but also in regard to issues such as eugenics, age of consent, prostitution, and what exactly a man’s right to “personal reproductive autonomy” is and how it might be violated.

Rep. Pugh said repeatedly during committee hearings that disagreement over the applications of Article 22 would, if necessary, be resolved in the state’s courts. 

“Vermonters have to vote for or against Article 22 this fall,” said Donahue, “and an overwhelming majority still aren’t aware of what this major piece of law actually says and actually does. Vermonters deserve a robust discussion from all sides before they are asked to make such a momentous decision. I appreciate Representative Pugh’s willingness to have such a public back and forth discussion, and I look forward to taking her up on the challenge – sooner rather than later; early and often.”

Excerpts from a statement by Vermonters for Good Government are included in this news story. 

Categories: Life&Death

9 replies »

  1. It is noteworthy that those in the VT Legislature who are the most vocal about denouncing Vermont’s role in promoting eugenics 100 years ago are the biggest promoters of the most effective tool of eugenics…legal abortion. They honor Planned Parenthood founder and avowed racist Margaret Sanger, while insisting that 2 buildings at UVM be renamed because the people harbored some tepid level of support for eugenics at a time when it was politically popular and acceptable.

  2. Thanks Anne, for being willing to enter this debate. I hope that there may/will be many more before November. Folks need to be aware of all of the (potential) ramifications of Article 22, and esp. that abortions may/will be possible up to the time of live birth.

    • Sadly, abortions in VT right now are allowable up to the time of birth. And VT is also a State wherein the “personhood” of a fetus is denied – even within the third trimester.

      Evil hangs over Vermont like the many thick, dark clouds that hover above our mountain chains before a massive mid-summer storm. This entire State needs an exorcism, and the righteous are living here and now to take up the sword as the soldiers of Christ.

  3. A “debate” about whether or not murdering another innocent human being is morally correct or not. This will be, as always, the same old unscientific & patently false excuses why slaughtering the unborn is somehow a woman’s “right”. Snoooooze.

    Meanwhile, this is the same group who fight tooth & nail to outlaw capital punishment for mass murderers. OK.

    • The debate should be about the vague language of the proposed amendment and potential outcomes of court interpretations that will serve neither pro-life nor pro-choice proponents. Some of Rep Anne Donahue’s comments during the February 8 House session and floor vote address the language. Planned Parenthood and legislators would love to try to keep the debate over Article 22 about pro-life/pro-choice.

  4. So glad to see this debate arising. There are many voices on both sides of this issue. A debate with these two voices is worth airing and hearing.

  5. Hypocrisy abounds from our Vermont Government Officials.

    With all their “wokeness” and “legislative virtue signaling” they have forgotten to acknowledge and publicly recognize the one clear ongoing act of “systemic racism” they wholly support.

    In Vermont, where the black population is minimal, black babies have been murdered at a rate of more than 4 times that of white babies over the past 50 years of legal abortion. This makes abortion the most consequential and negative occurrence against black families and the whole black race.

    Do black babies have an “equal opportunity” to survive? Is Article 22 the “enshrining” of systemic racism into our Vermont Constitution?

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