Statehouse Headliners: Abortion constitutional amendment public hearing set for April 17

By Guy Page

Prop 5, the proposed amendment to enshrine abortion in the Vermont Constitution, has been passed 28-2 by the Senate and is scheduled to be discussed in House Human Services.

A public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. April 17 in the hall of the House of Representatives. Those who wish to testify must sign up early.

Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, and Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont.

The proposed Article 22 [personal reproductive liberty] reads: “That the people are guaranteed the liberty and dignity to determine their own life’s course. The right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty protected by this Constitution and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Article 22 does not specifically mention abortion. However, the Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund seems to understand the intent, writing to its supporters April 5 that “Vermont is the first state in history to advance a constitutional amendment on abortion rights.”

The ACLU, the Vermont Attorney General, and Vermont Right to Life all suggested in committee hearings that the word “abortion” be used in the purpose language of Prop 5. However, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee declined to use the word. Under the constitutional amendment process, that language cannot be changed.

When asked about the choice to not use the word “abortion,” a Senate Health and Welfare committee member yesterday said the committee was trying to be more inclusive than just protecting a woman’s right to an abortion. For example, it also would prohibit the government from forcing women to have abortions, as has been practiced in China, the committee member said.

H.57, the House bill that would legislate unrestricted abortion, will get an introductory run-through at 9 a.m. Friday in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

Unplanned movie

The unexpectedly popular movie “Unplanned” will screen this weekend at Bennington Cinemas, beginning with a 4 p.m. showing Friday. The theater is located near the intersection of Main and North streets in Bennington. Click here for showtimes.

“Unplanned” is a true story about Abby Johnson, who left a position as a Planned Parenthood clinic director to become a key figure in the anti-abortion movement. Ms. Johnson was the keynote speaker at the Vermont Right to Life annual rally in 2015. Since opening earlier this year, the film has been in the top 10 nationwide, despite (or perhaps because of) opposition from within the entertainment and media industry.

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

8 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: Abortion constitutional amendment public hearing set for April 17

  1. you co not hear the media talk about it because Vermont is nothing but a petri dish for the far left agenda! Once it is law they will talk about how great the state was for passing this heinous
    Law.

  2. Be lucky if anyone would be allowed to speak, a very limited time as this Legislative group has “valuable time” and are sick of listening to other opinions, desires or wants. It’s happened before, many times.

    Interesting that when they desire to get elected, they seem to be commoners with same intelligence(?) as the populace. But when they get under the gold dome, suddenly they become the elite of the elite and ignore and put down the populace. There’s something strange in that Montpelier air that’s intoxicating.

  3. Why don’t they call it what it is…what they are proposing….INFANTICIDE. This has nothing to do with a woman’s health. We have a bunch of would-be DR. MENGELES sitting in the Vermont State House. Are they in on the selling of body parts, too? Sick people are in control of this state. And evil lives under the Golden Dome.

  4. ‘Shall not be denied or infringed.’ I’m trying to recall where that word ‘infringed’ appears in the US Constitution, and wondering if it will be treated with the same respect.

    • ” trying to recall where that word ‘infringed’ appears”
      Yea Frank but that is in the US constitution, which leftarded fascist don’t believe is
      viable any longer., because orange man bad .The new Mien Kamph edition of Vermont’s constitution will allow killing a baby up to 4 years old if you find it’s upsetting your life style or choices. You’ll have to send the blood of the victim to the legislature as they drink it for
      their goolish pleasure. The GA gov looser “gap toof abrams tank” just proclaimed
      babies be bad for business so kill away…

  5. Unplanned is also playing in the Essex Cinemas for this weekend only and a couple of other days. It’s remarkable how few theatre are putting out the movie. I look forward to seeing this weekend or earlier.

    • Neil Johnson, I just checked Essex Cinemas for “Unplanned” and it’s no where on the card(s) for this weekend or in the near future. Got any more info on it that I can’t find?

  6. Be it H.57 or Prop 5, Vermont has fallen into the Liberal Quagmire of Politics, it doesn’t matter
    what level headed Vermonter’s want, it all about the agenda !!

    Talk about a ” Black Hole ” Vermont has fallen into it with this & proposal ……. Shameful !!

    Wake Up People, we’re not California or New York or are we ??

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