Around New England

Vermont Democrats Want Pro-Abortion Constitutional Amendment –
And So Does Republican Governor

December 14, 2018

Planned Parenthood spent $450,000 trying to defeat Rick Scott in his first run for governor of Vermont in 2016. But Scott, a Republican who was just elected last month to a second two-year term as governor, recently gave all the answers the abortion provider wanted on a 20-question survey, according to Seven Days.

A spokesman says Scott also supports a push by Democrats in the state legislature to add an amendment to the Vermont Constitution that would specifically protect legal abortion.

“Though the Vermont Supreme Court overturned a law banning doctors from performing abortions in 1972 — just months before Roe was decided — there are no affirmative statutory protections for the procedure,” Seven Days reports.

Amending the state constitution would take a minimum of four years – the Vermont Senate would have to approve it by two-thirds majority and the Vermont House of Representatives would have to approve it by a simple majority this legislative session, then both chambers would have to do it again during the 2020-2021 legislative session, then voters would have to approve it in the state election in 2022.

So Vermont House Democrats are planning to bring forward this session a bill creating a state statute that would do the same thing, in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Mary Hahn Beerworth, executive director of the Vermont Right to Life Committee, calls the statute and constitutional-amendment proposals “jaw-dropping,” and says she’ll fight them, according to Seven Days.

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