By Sarah Mearhoff/VTDigger
The Vermont House on Tuesday approved Proposal 5, sending the question of whether to amend the state Constitution to guarantee sexual and reproductive freedoms to voters come November. The vote was 107-41.
Also known as the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, Prop 5 would amend the state constitution to guarantee Vermonters access to abortion, contraceptive and other reproductive care. Overcoming the final legislative hurdle in a years-long process, the final call now goes to voters in November.
Proponents for the amendment say it’s an essential step as state legislatures around the country roll back abortion access, and the future of federal abortion case precedent lies in the hands of a majority-conservative U.S. Supreme Court. A constitutional amendment would make it nearly impossible to roll back access in Vermont down the line, should the political tides in the state change.
Opponents, on the other hand, say that’s the exact reason such a permanent step should not be taken, and the issue should instead be handled with legislation.