What does the recent Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade mean for Vermont? It does not change anything in our state in terms of our failure to legally protect women and innocent preborn human children from the violence of abortion. Abortion is still protected by Act 47, signed by Gov. Phil Scott in 2019, which means that abortions can be committed in Vermont at any point and for any reason up to the moment of birth.
The egregious Dred Scott decision of 1857 was later overturned. This unjust Supreme Court decision denied the human rights of Americans of African descent. Fortunately, this grave error was overturned in 1868 with the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In 1973 the Supreme Court also made a grave error in the Roe decision. Roe granted a false permission never contained or implied in the Constitution to deny the humanity of preborn children, remove legal protections for them, and destroy them before they are born. Unfortunately, an entire generation has grown up under the deception that Roe was right and good. Agree or disagree, history repeats itself when we fail to learn its lessons.
Where do we go from here in Vermont? Article 22, falsely labeled as “The Reproductive Liberty Amendment,” will appear on the ballot Nov. 8. So why do we need a constitutional amendment which protects abortionists, while failing to protect women and children from the violence of abortion? Those who authored Prop 5/Article 22 crafted it to be intentionally and deceptively vague, and to fool voters at the ballot box to think it will promote some noble-sounding concept of reproductive liberty and rights. But like Dred Scott, and like Roe, anytime we dehumanize a group of persons, we tear society down, not build it up.
Basic human biological science recognizes that human life begins at fertilization. The embryo, or fetus, or preborn baby is an innocent human being. There’s never a valid reason to intentionally end the life of an innocent human being. But this is what abortion does, and this is why it is wrong.
Act 47 already provides for unrestricted, unregulated access to abortion in Vermont at any stage of pregnancy, even up to the moment of birth. Article 22 would only take us further in the wrong direction. This is why we must vote no on Nov. 8.