Senate passes one pro-abortion bill, House poised to pass another

By Guy Page

Yesterday, the Senate triumphantly passed H.89, a “shield” bill protecting abortion and transgender providers from virtually all legal challenges. This afternoon, the House stands poised to give initial approval to S.37, which offers other abortion/trangender legal protections and exposes pro-life pregnancy resource clinics to civil action.

H.89 passed 26-4 on Tuesday, April 18. The four “no” votes were Republicans Brian Collamore of Rutland, Russ Ingalls of Essex, Robert Norris of Franklin, and Terry Williams of Rutland. It was given final approval on a voice vote yesterday. 

H.89 saw a last minute addition allowing the use of the chemical abortion drug mifepristone, even if the federal government outlaws it. A statement issued yesterday by Sens. Nader Hashim (bill reporter and Judiciary Vice-Chair), Ginny Lyons (Health & Welfare Chair), and Senate Pro Tem Phil Baruth said: “Additionally, an amendment was added to the bill today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s current consideration of whether to revoke federal approval for mifepristone, a safe and effective drug commonly used for abortion care and miscarriage. The approved amendment would protect Vermonters’ access to this drug regardless of federal approval.”

Using terms like “loud and clear” and “full stop,” the three senators said:

“Vermont has been loud and clear, even before the Dobbs decision, that we will choose to protect and preserve access to reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare as evidenced by codifying these rights in statute, resolutions and our constitution. Additionally, in light of recent litigation throwing into question access to safe abortion medication, today’s amendment will ensure that Vermonters can still access this medication regardless of SCOTUS’s future ruling on its approval.” – Hashim

“Last summer the Dobbs decision upended national understanding of reproductive autonomy and access to modern medical standards of care. Litigation now threatens access to safe and effective medication used for early pregnancy loss, miscarriage, abortion, and other reproductive care. H.89 will protect Vermont’s reproductive and gender-affirming care providers and access to safe, effective and essential abortion medication.” – Lyons

“In light of recent litigation threatening access to abortion medication, and in the wake of the Dobbs decision, state-level protections for abortion and gender-affirming care providers and patients have become even more critical. H.89 makes clear that reproductive and gender-affirming care is a legal right in Vermont and that patients and providers will be protected. Full stop.” – Baruth

Both H.89 and S.37 are billed as “concerning legally protected health care activity” and have some language in common. It is rare for the Vermont Legislature to pass two, somewhat overlapping bills simultaneously. But in Vermont, abortion is a peculiar institution, when ‘peculiar’ is understood by the dictionary definition of “special, or unique.”

The abortion/transgender lobby is extremely influential in Vermont. Planned Parenthood, former employer of House Speaker Jill Krowinski, is the nation’s leading abortion provider and in 2021 offered gender-affirming therapy to 35,000 patients.

Last November, voters overwhelmingly supported Act 22, enshrining reproductive liberty in the state constitution. This vote was interpreted as a mandate for expanding abortion and transgender rights. Furthermore the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court overturning of Roe V. Wade and recent federal court decisions regulating chemical abortion drugs have motivated pro-legal abortion lawmakers to protect abortion rights as much as possible within state boundaries. 

In House action today, In addition to the S. 37 mifeprestone amendment to be brought by Rep. Lori Houghton (chair of Health Care), four Republicans – Reps. Mark Higley, Mike Morgan, Terri Williams, and Anne Donahue – will offer amendments, including offering more protection for pregnancy resource centers and allowing use of ‘abortion reversal’ medications. 

Gov. Phil Scott has said he supports both bills. Groups opposing the bills, like the Vermont Family Alliance, say elements of the bill could be struck down in federal court. 

Categories: Legislation, Life&Death

13 replies »

  1. It’s best I remain (mostly) speechless right now! The part that upset me the most was reading the testimonies of the two Senators. I will focus on one issue in particular. That being the approval of the “abortion medication” that is still questionable regarding the safety of the medication! Hello! Have they even considered the “what ifs”? I’ll stop here, for now.
    Gail, R.N.

  2. Whether or not the SCOTUS offers an “unnacceptable” ruling for the Lyons, Baruth and Hashim crew here is irrelevant. The cases in the Texas Federal District Court and now before the US Supremes is based on a failure to properly evaluate and document the FDA Approvals of these drugs in the 1st place and whether they violate the Federal Administrative Procedures Act they have consistently refused to follow ever since. Pretty dry toast and has not one thing to do with abortion-on-demand.

    The APA dictates a public process, comments and scientific documents be available for Peer Review during the several Phases of Trials necessary for any drug (or vaccine) approval. Only in some instances are these abbreviated such as with the recent shoddy Emergency Use Authorizations of the various mRNA so-called “Covid Vaccines”. How is that working out folks?

    With regards the efforts and frenzied squawks of petrified and puny Vermont State Senators, is there some mysterious legal theory that allows this “Boastful Little State” to circumvent the entire FDA, US Congress, Federal Registry and the Supreme Court with an amendment to a Bill here in the Montpelier Snakehouse? How about we override the ATF and Congress and make our own guns too?!? I am not aware of such a legal alchemy.

    Are these Bills which seek to “emancipate” teenagers to access surgical mutilation and pharmaceutical mutation such a great place to also emancipate a fetus for death and the incinerator as medical waste? Sounds like a match made in Montpelier….

    See the entire history of the corrupted Mifeprestone FDA Approval process outlined in the first 7 pages here: https://adflegal.org/sites/default/files/2022-11/Alliance-for-Hippocratic-Medicine-v-FDA-2022-11-18-Complaint.pdf

    Few readers will be surprised that the players begin with a President named Clinton. Follow the fun as Obama and company join the parade of violations of public process….

  3. “Peculiar institution” used to mean slavery. Looks as if the resident lunatics in Montpelier are making sure it regains its former opprobrium.

  4. The State of Vermont needs a new State flag (international no symbol imposed over a human baby) and a new State Motto “Vermont! where a moral compass is optional”. What a sad, pathetic and disgraceful so call “representation” in Vermont. History will not look kindly on the continued support for the taking innocent lives and thinking it’s a badge of honor. shameful.

    • Don’t give them ideas. They don’t like Christians very much either, unless they are voiceless and compromised.

  5. Struck down in federal court? Ya think? But these power brokers don’t care — keep doing the same things over & over, defying Constitutional rights and overstepping the boundaries of the rule of law and decency — it’s easy when you play with someone else’s money and you have NO conscience.

    Beware of those on a mission. And this particular mission is to destroy the USA and embrace the new liberal world order!

  6. So help me out here, why are there shortages of many drugs but not on abortion or puberty blockers?

    • Very good point. I suppose though it’s the exact same reason why a 12-year-old girl can elect to murder her unborn baby without parental consent but cannot choose to buy a pack of cigarettes under she turns 21 years of age.

      I just haven’t quite pinned down what that exact reason is just yet. Neither have any brilliant lawmakers.