At its October 12 monthly meeting, the Barre City Republican Committee passed a resolution opposing Article 22, the proposed ‘reproductive liberty’ amendment to the Vermont Constitution.
This news was reported to Vermont Daily Chronicle by William Toborg, embattled pro-life member of the city diversity and equity committee and husband of Vermont Right to Life Committee policy analyst Sharon Toborg. Both of Barre City’s Republican House candidates – Tom Kelly and Brian Judd – are pro-life opponents of Article 22.
The resolution reads:
Whereas, Proposal 5 would add the following language to our Vermont Constitution: 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, and
Whereas, the term “personal reproductive autonomy” has no fixed definition, and
Whereas, the use of the word “individual” would grant to women, men, and children an equal right to reproductive autonomy, and
Whereas, Proposal 5 would create a legal avenue to challenge existing laws intended to protect children from sexual exploitation, and
Whereas, Proposal 5 could lead to taxpayer funding of gender transition for children without parental consent, and
Whereas, Proposal 5, by directing the courts to use a “strict scrutiny” standard of review, would give the right to personal reproductive autonomy higher priority than any other right in our constitution, which could lead to medical providers being required to participate in procedures that violate their religious beliefs or best medical judgement, and
Whereas, Proposal 5 removes the ability of the legislature to determine appropriate public policy as it relates to so-called “personal reproductive autonomy” and instead turns over to the courts all future decisions on the matter, and
Whereas, Proposal 5 is not needed as abortion rights in Vermont are protected by statute, therefore
Be it resolved, the Barre City Republican Committee finds that Proposal 5 carries the potential for serious harm while providing no benefit, and encourages Vermonters to vote no on Prop 5.