By Deborah Bucknam
House Bill 57, co-sponsored by nearly 70 Vermont legislators, has been introduced in the Vermont General Assembly. It states that aborting an unborn child at any time during the pregnancy, up to the moment of birth, is a “fundamental right.”
These words have profound legal significance. A “fundamental right” under our United States and Vermont constitutions means a right that cannot be restricted, absent a “compelling government interest.” Even worse, this bill prohibits the government from imposing any restrictions whatsoever on the right to an abortion.
The effect of this bill would be to enshrine in the law the unrestricted right to kill a child for any reason, up to the moment of birth. Abortion for sex selection purposes, for organ harvesting, for medical research or experimentation, or even for eugenics will all be beyond the reach of the law. This bill also makes it legal for an aborted child who is born alive to be killed after its birth.
Furthermore, the bill specifically provides that the unborn child has no rights. It states: “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law.” The unborn child becomes the legal equivalent of a piece of dust. An unborn child, who would be viable outside the womb, can be wantonly killed and mutilated for any reason under this bill. Finally, this bill provides that the “right” to an abortion can be enforced by the “injured” party by injunctive relief and an award of attorneys fees.
Late term abortions are ghoulish, cause pain and suffering to the baby and risk serious health consequences to the mother. They involve injecting massive doses of heart-stopping medication into the baby’s head or chest to kill the child, and then, several days later, removing, sometimes piecemeal, the dead child from the mother’s womb.
Some claim this bill only enacts into law the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. That is not true. The Supreme Court in Roe v Wade allowed for government restrictions during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. This bill prohibits any government restrictions during any period of pregnancy.
In Vermont, animals are protected by criminal statutes prohibiting animal abuse or neglect. Children, likewise, are protected by child protections statutes. This bill provides no protection whatsoever for any child until the moment it is born. This is the ugly face of progressivism.
Deborah Bucknam is a St. Johnsbury-based attorney and former Republican candidate for state attorney general.