Commentary

Strong: Proposal 5 gives autonomous right to something that takes two people

By Matthew Strong, Vermonters for Good Government

Proposal 5 (AKA Article 22) is being sold to women in Vermont as a women’s rights bill to protect Roe v. Wade in our state constitution. This is false advertising, and a “bait and switch.” Read the language of Proposal 5 and you will see clearly that it mentions neither women, nor abortion, nor Roe. It says:

“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.”

This is vague, confusing, and fraught with legal problems, both intended and unintended.

For one thing, Proposal 5 is built on a contradiction: “personal reproductive autonomy.” The definition of autonomy is “having the freedom to govern oneself or control your own affairs.” But, scientifically speaking, reproduction takes two people. Both parties to creating a child can’t each have complete autonomy over the decision whether to bring an unborn child to term. This is a legal nightmare waiting to happen, especially for women.

Let’s say the mother of an unborn child wishes to have an abortion, but the father wants the child to be born. Who has the right to “personal reproductive autonomy”, the mother or the father? Do grandparents have any rights under Proposal 5 that the courts must consider? Believe it or not, it’s legally unclear. The woman in this scenario could be placed in a position where she would have to hire and pay a lawyer and go before a judge.

As we heard in House Health and Human Resources public testimony, even the chair of the committee admitted this would be the reality. When an ACLU spokesperson was asked whose rights would prevail, and the spokesperson didn’t know, committee Chair Ann Pugh stepped in and said, “My understanding is that when rights are in conflict, we go to court, and that is the role of the courts to decide, or a judge.” Watch the exchange yourself here.

Here’s another potential curveball should federal law ever establish a definition of fetal personhood (there is a bill, H.R. 6099): the unborn child could then have a right to personal reproductive autonomy under Proposal 5 that the courts would have to consider, even in cases where the life or health of the mother is at stake. Being aborted would certainly violate one’s right to reproduce!

I don’t know if the authors of Proposal 5 thought through these unintended consequences. But if Vermont women want a constitutional amendment that actually protects their personal right to seek an abortion without interference or the need for permission from other parties, vote NO on Proposal 5 and start over.

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4 replies »

  1. Thank you Matthew for stepping up and sharing the truth. Prop 5, now Article 22, doesn’t mention the word Abortion. In fact it is so far reaching as to criminalize Parents who choose to fight for their children. It is purposely vague because the proponents of this nightmare want liberal judges to make decisions that Parents and individuals educated about this should make.

  2. Many women are apparently extremely gullible and naive, if I may say so myself.

    Thus far they have been led to believe that murdering their own child in utero is some type of “right” or even empowering. They have bought into the notion that the misogynist practice of prostitution is also a “right” and empowering for our gender, and then they were yet again foolish enough to think that biological males competing against us on athletic & Olympic teams was also a great deal for females.

    Does anyone think independently whatsoever anymore?? NONE of these blatantly sexist, unfair, & archaic ideologies are good for any women and in fact desecrate and ultimately obliterate womanhood all together. Entire generations have been indoctrinated into thinking that somehow murder and the LGBTQWHATEVERELSE were “feminist” issues when in reality, such pursuits destroy the entire concept of feminism and equality for everyone.

  3. I think you have to remember when reading this bill, it was written from a ‘woke’ perspective, whereby you can’t mention that a ‘woman’ gives birth. In today’s woke world men can get pregnant so that means you can’t write the bill giving just one sex reproductive rights. In the woke world there are 62 genders. What a conundrum.

  4. No more lying about your fertility and tricking men into marriage or legally forcing men into fatherhood & 18 years of child support, ladies! Might wanna reconsider.

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