The House Committee on Human Services will hold a public hearing on Proposal 5, proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Vermont regarding the right to personal reproductive freedom, on Wednesday, January 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the House Chamber and on Zoom.
Members of the public are invited to testify regarding the Legislature’s work on Proposal 5. Individuals wishing to testify may do so in person or by Zoom. Please register to testify at https://legislature.vermont.gov/links/proposition-5-public-hearing. You must specify if you intend to testify in person or by Zoom.
To ensure there is enough time for everyone to speak, the Committee is asking that remarks be no longer than two minutes. The Committee welcomes people to submit testimony via e-mail to email@example.com. Please indicate in the subject line Proposal 5 Public Comment.
If you plan to attend and need accommodations to participate, please contact the Sergeant at Arms at 802-828-2228 by January 21.
If Proposal 5 passes the Legislature, it will go to a statewide voter referendum on Election Day this November.
* * * * *
The adoption of Prop 5 would change Chapter One of the Vermont Constitution for the first time since 1786, attendees learned at Saturday’s Vermont Right to Life Rally for Life in Montpelier.
Chapter One contains the 21 articles that pertain to individual human rights. These articles have remain unchanged since the Constitutional Convention of 1786. All amendments to the Vermont Constitution have been made to Chapter 2, dealing with “the plan or frame of government.”
The Vermont ACLU has testified that Prop 5 would not be limited to abortion, but would apply to many other aspects of ‘reproductive autonomy,’ likely including gender identity.
Prop 5 would almost certainly eliminate the conscience protections of health care professionals working for hospitals or other agencies funded by or overseen by the government. In a state with a constitutionally-protected right to unrestricted abortion, employees of health care providers would have little to no ability to refuse to participate in abortions or other medical practices that violate their conscience.
Abortion restrictions supported by many Vermonters such as parental notification, a ban on late-term abortions, and abortion of Down Syndrome babies, would be impossible to legislate if Prop 5 passes. Legislators learned at a recent public hearing that “there is no way to regulate abortion under Prop 5.”
For more information, go to http://www.vrlc.net.