Voters Will Consider Constitutional Amendment – ​​NBC Boston

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On Election Day in November, a question related to access to abortion and other reproductive health care decisions will be on ballots across Vermont.

Under Article 22, voters will be asked if the Vermont Constitution should be amended to include reproductive freedom. That would mean future state legislators would be unable to pass laws restricting reproductive rights, advocates have said.

The public vote is the final step in a multi-year constitutional amendment process. However, the recent pushback of Roe v. Wade on behalf of conservatives who control the US Supreme Court has already called for more protections.

“Just being pro-choice is just not enough,” Democrat Brenda Siegel said earlier this month, calling herself a champion of reproductive rights and pushing for a policy package on the issue.

Siegel, who secured her party’s nomination for governor and who has also garnered the support of progressives, is doing more than just voicing her support for Article 22, the constitutional amendment Vermonters will vote on in November that would enshrine reproductive freedom in the state constitution.

Siegel also says that if elected governor, she would push to make Vermont a safe haven for patients who travel here from out of state to seek abortions, including protecting them and care providers from investigators in places where procedures now they are illegal.

“We will not back down and we will do so at all costs,” Siegel said of policies coming out of the US Supreme Court, including potential future threats to same-sex marriage rights. “This is Vermont’s time to lead.”

Siegel’s November opponent, incumbent pro-choice Republican Phil Scott, has said he was deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v Wade. Scott has promised to defend and preserve the right to abortion in Vermont.

Earlier this summer, Governor Scott formally notified Vermonters that the constitutional amendment issue would appear on the ballot this fall. In that notice, the governor expressed his strong support for women having the right to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures.

Scott promised Tuesday that he would consider any additional measures lawmakers put before him, but for now, he said he thinks Article 22 would be a strong statement.

“I hope, if elected this fall, to work with the Legislature on whatever comes to mind,” the governor said in response to a question from NECN and NBC10 Boston about whether additional protective measures are needed. “I don’t know how much further you can go beyond Article 22, to be honest with you. Name me another state that has it in its Constitution, if it comes to be.”

Regarding article 22, opponents have he criticized it as lazy and permissive regarding late-term abortions. They have also raised logistical questions, such as what it would mean for healthcare workers who object to participating in certain procedures.

“An unborn child would be treated as less than the 215 plants and animals that have protection, legal protection, in the state of Vermont,” lamented Mary Hahn Beerworth of the Vermont Right to Life Committee in a report by Vermont. NECN and NBC10 Boston on June 24, the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Nevertheless, supporters He insists that the language in Article 22 reflects Supreme Court precedent and covers other key issues, such as contraception. Those supporters have argued that it is vital to protect current state rights for the future and have said that most Americans support the right of people to determine their own reproductive future.

Proponents of Article 22 have emphasized that it would not change the way reproductive health care is currently provided in Vermont. Rather, it would protect what has become familiar for future generations, advocates have said.

Observers expect debate on Article 22, which was previously known as Proposition 5, Proposition 5 or Proposition 5 during the legislative period leading up to the statewide vote, to intensify after Labor Day.

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