Kauffman: Article 22 ‘reproductive liberty’ would protect child consent for transgender surgery, hormone blockers

by Carol Kauffman

In a recent blog post, Addison County State Senator Ruth Hardy’s choice of “reproductive justice” words – such as abortion(s), reproductive health care (taxpayer funded), contraception, sterilization, and pregnancy – is problematic because they focus on the “Freedom of Choice Act” intent and not Prop 5/Article 22’s intent.

Do Senator Hardy and Prop 5/Article 22 proponents support the following, so-called, “reproductive justice initiatives” being protected under the proposed State Constitutional amendment? 

Act 35 (2017) “This bill proposes to allow minors to consent to mental health treatment for any condition related to the minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity” without a parent or court oversight.

If taken up in 2023, there’s H. 659, “This bill proposes to allow a minor who identifies as a transgender to consent to receiving hormone blockers and other nonsurgical, gender-affirming care and treatment without requiring parental consent” or court protection and oversight.

Also, if taken up in 2023, H630 would “repeal the prostitution laws that currently prohibit ‘indiscriminate sexual intercourse’ and consensual engagement in sex work for hire by adults” starting at 18 years old.  

Senator Hardy explains in her blog, “The ‘compelling state interest’ clause imposes the strictest level of legal scrutiny for justifying any attempt to deny reproductive liberty.”  Yet, she stays silent on the reality that the state can continue to expand reproductive liberty under Article 22.

Senator Hardy claimed, “The concept of a ‘late-term abortion’ is a fallacy perpetrated by opponents of reproductive liberty to create unfounded fear and confusion.”  Why didn’t Act 47(2019) and Prop 5 include viability of life provisions as in Roe vs Wade?  The viability of life regarding the unborn, during the later stages of pregnancy, is important to the majority of Americans.  Roe vs Wade also made allowances for states to protect parents’ rights and responsibilities regarding the health and welfare of their children unlike Act 47(2019) and Prop 5/Article 22.  Thirty-seven states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion.   Vermont is not one of them.

Why are the Vermont super-majority legislative proponents of Prop 5/Article 22 kicking parents out of the village and pursuing law that allows minors/young adults to make grown-up decisions without court protections and oversight?  Let the critical thinking development of the brain mature (the mid to late twenties) before allowing our children to make life-altering decisions.

Vermont law has postponed drinking and smoking until 21 years old.

What’s the hurry with Article 22?

The vagueness of Article 22 goes far beyond what most consider reasonable, without informing Vermonters of the costs to the taxpayers and families or to potential impacts on Vermont’s children.

The author is an Addison resident and president of Vermont Family Alliance.

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7 replies »

  1. A ‘compelling State interest’ can be anything, or everything. If Article 22 does anything, or everything, in accordance with ‘the State’, it’s NOT what its title proclaims to provide – reproductive liberty – no matter where one stands on the abortion issue. Only a fool would vote for Article 22.

  2. this is to justify and prevent lawsuits following what gov schools are doing to children right now………vote no

  3. So if the state allows or helps a minor through reconstructive surgery and problems ensue or even death is encountered who is responsible?

    If the child becomes mamed for life who is responsible for caretaking?

    Is the educator that promotes this child doing damage to himself on the hook?

    It’s the state that is passing laws that allow this to happen on the hook?

    And who gets to pay for this surgery to begin with?

    Can the parent be forced to pay for something they do not agree with happening to their child?

    This is one of the most ridiculous laws to ever be considered in the state of Vermont.

    I have to question why Senator Joe Benning is hell bent on promoting and supporting article 22… Joe is running to become Lieutenant Governor in the state of Vermont and I think it’s time for Vermonters to wake up and vote for someone who cares about our children and our values…

    As Republicans in the state of Vermont we need to defend our state from people like Joe Benning

    We need to send a message to the Republican party that we will no longer tolerate the garbage they are cramming down our throats

    Please visit

    Everyone should spread the word among friends and family, in the community, and on social media.

    Ballot MUST be filled out EXACTLY:

    “Gregory M. Thayer of Rutland”

    • Perhaps you can help me, Mr. Ley. Before I consider writing in Mr. Thayer, I have one question I’d like him to answer. Specifically:

      When Mr. Thayer went to the January 6, 2021 demonstration, did he, at any time, go past the barricades (such as they were) and trespass on the restricted Capitol grounds? The importance of this answer should not be discounted.