Senate to vote April 9 on abortion constitutional amendment

by Guy Page

Tuesday the Senate Rules committee met to take the next steps on two proposed amendments to the Vermont Constitution, including Proposal 5 which “seeks to ensure the personal reproductive liberty of every Vermonter,” according to a statement from Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint (D-Windham). The Constitution requires that, following the initial adoption of proposed changes, in the next legislative biennium a new legislature must concur with the change in order for it to move forward.

In the last biennium, the legislature passed two proposed constitutional amendments – Proposal 5 and Proposal 2, which seeks to clarify that slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited. 

Following Senate Rule 83, the Senate Rules Committee voted today to place the amendments on the Senate Calendar. The rule requires six legislative days of notice before any Senate action on the proposals on the seventh day. The Senate will vote whether or not to concur with these amendments Friday, April 9.

Following the committee meeting, Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint said, “We recognize that there is a great deal of weight and history behind any changes to the Vermont Constitution. Both of these proposals have strong, bipartisan support in the Senate. They help better ensure essential liberties for Vermonters and enshrine our shared values of freedom and justice. We look forward to taking this next step to strengthen our State Constitution.”

Following the Senate vote, the House must also concur, and then the amendments are put to Vermonters for a direct vote next November.

Both Vermont Right to Life and the Vermont ACLU urged that abortion be mentioned specifically in both Prop 5 and the document explaining the purpose for the proposal. However, the Senate refused to do so – likely because it is intended to enshrine in the Constitution not only abortion rights, but also access to transgender surgery and therapy and other issues related to reproduction.

“Proposal 5 is a legislative proposal to amend the Vermont Constitution with pro-abortion language,” Vermont Right to Life Executive Director Mary Beerworth told Vermont Daily recently. “Proponents of Proposal 5 have stated publicly that their goal is to ensure unlimited, unregulated abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. The final language is below. It has already progressed through the first phase of the amendment process by being approved by both the Vermont House and Senate in 2019. If the language is approved again in the 2021-2022 legislative session, Article 22 will appear on your general election ballot for a “Yes” or “No” vote in November of 2022.”

Here’s how the Prop 5 language will appear on the ballot in 2022:
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.

Categories: Life&Death

20 replies »

  1. Again, here’s your “reproductive liberty” gals AND guys: Don’t be intimate unless you are mature enough, are in a committed relationship/married, are using reliable birth control, or are financially able enough to be able to begin or expand your family.

    SEE how many “choices” you have??

    They were once called: responsibility and accountability.

  2. There is nothing more important to the democrats in the Vermont Legislature than the right to abortion all nine months of pregnancy with no regulations or restrictions. They don’t care about women’s health at all. The Vermont legislators do not have the wisdom to alter The Vermont Constitution.

  3. The irony of Vermont’s Slavery and Abortion amendments: Using our rights to trump the rights of others. Vermont was in the forefront of the Abolitionists movement. We had no wish to violate anyone’s property rights. A position endorsed by all. We objected to other humans actually being property. Our legislature is now considering a constitutional amendment to reiterate that historic correction. Tragically, they are taking exactly the opposite tact with abortion. They proposed an amendment to protect reproductive rights. A position endorsed by all. But this includes eliminating the resulting issue of that right’s exercise? It’s as if the planters’ chorus ‘’…don’t mess with our property…” is reborn as “…don’t mess with our reproduction…” Slaves were crushed by the 1st …now babies?

  4. How are transgender surgery and therapy related to reproductive rights? To include these with abortion rights is like President Biden including funding for the arts in the corvid relief bill. Its an oxymoronic statement. If the citizens of Vermont are to vote on article22, The article should be presented honestly !including the term abortion.

  5. No mention of the father’s reproductive right! It’s his child, too but I guess he doesn’t matter any more than the baby.

  6. The promoters would like us to believe this is to guarantee only the abortion rights that they already legalized (unregulated and unlimited!), but many deduce it entails a broader scope. Because this amendment to the Constitution will be applied to all citizens of Vermont, as there is no age parameters included in the wording, can we assume that pedophiles will then justify their relationships with children as protected rights in Vermont? Also, will the pharmaceutical industry be given free reign to apply their gender transition drugs to any age child who has been “schooled” to believe they would be better off becoming life long patients in need of the drugs, therapies, surgeries, counseling, meds, etc? Think of the profits. Oh, and they also want to legalize prostitution so girls/ women can be “legally” sex trafficked or maybe become “fetal factories” for hire to supply abortionists with plenty of tiny body parts and tissue to market to pharmaceutical companies and others. There is always bound to be high level money making schemes connected when there’s so much pressure from the left and lobbyists to push legislation through. Its time for clear thinking Vermonters to call their senators and tell them to vote NO.

  7. You all need to flee Sodom before it’s too late. You are living on the devil’s doorstep. Our Nation has passed the point of returning to any semblance of coexistence. When the music stops, you do not want to be living in Vermont or New England.

    • So where do you recommend? NY, NJ, Michigan, California?? These miscreants are all over thanks in large part to Obama & George Soros – in conjunction with the passivity of traditionalists and most of the swamp creatures of D.C.

      The President of Canada is bringing that Parliamentary democracy down as fast as he can too, and it’s way too toasty in Florida for many of us.

      • One of the biggest lies continually broadcast by the liberal socialists is that the Southern states are full of white supremacists and that racism is rampant in the South. Contrary to the northern narrative, racism ended in the South at the end of the 20th century. After living in the Socialist Republic of Vermont in the Mad River Valley for thirty years, I can say that my wife and I are so glad we moved to Tennessee. Life here is as it should be, people respect each other no matter what their race or social standing, and people live and follow Christian and Conservative values. And the best part is there’s no mud season.

      • Those are the last states any sane person would move to. Contrary to the northern liberal socialist racial dribble, racism ended in the South in the 20th century. There’s a reason so many Red States are in the South. Do some research on where Americans are moving from, and to where, and you will see a significant trend. Conservatism and Christian values are still held in very high regard in the South. When the SHTF (not if) where you are living in America is going to have a significant impact on your freedoms and well being.

      • They are essential to democracy, but not to religions and their doctrines… why are the left setting churches afire, vandalizing their statues, and chronically “pressuring” certain faiths to alter their doctrines? Ain’t gonna happen, Cap’t.

      • So because homosexuality occasionally occurs in nature (much of it dominance-related behaviors as you often see in canids) that correlates to human beings?

        Many animals in the wild also engage in cannibalism so should we do the same? I mean, as much as I try to base my moral and ethical behaviors based upon, say, Chimpanzees, once in a while I think that maybe that’s a bad idea.

      • Kathy Henry, you evade the facts. In nature homosexuality is, simply, normal. Furthermore in this constitutional republic of the USA people have rights. No one is forcing you into such behavior.

  8. Kathy Henry, what has all that to do with what I said? I hadn’t heard of churches being set afire. The statue vandalizing is appalling. However, the “left” isn’t all an amorphous mass who think uniformly.

  9. This bill will be the bill the overturns Roe v Wade.

    This bill defines a baby an a non-entity, a product of conception. What this bill does is takes away the rights of all women who are pregnant, because it no longer classifies there baby as a baby. Hospitals and insurance companies will no longer have to make extra efforts of expenses to keep a baby healthy, because by this constitutional amendment, it it only a POC.

    The wording is of course very clever, and sophisticated. Being scientific, moral or plain would only expose their lies and heart.


    • Neil Johnson, that is doubtful. However, there is a disturbing tendency in these times to pass laws about issues already adequately covered by other laws. Often, the less laws, the better.

  10. It’s really too sad that this is going to happen with the abortion amendment. Once it passes the Senate and the House with no amendments, and it goes to the public for the general election with majority winning we’re going to see hundreds of thousands if not a million or more spent trying to sway public interest one way or another. Mark my words not sense,” Take Back Vermont”, right or wrong in movements issue, have we seen the division that’s going to take place. Government should never divide society to meet the majorities priorities. Including the minorities by introducing and having an honest discussion about H. 248 is a compromise that can potentially save a nasty general election for all Vermonters to bear.

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