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Voices / Letters from readers

Two words absent from state abortion-rights bill

Ninety members of the Vermont House of Representatives have united to overturn Roe v. Wade, which states: “[A]ppellant and some amici argue that the woman’s right is absolute and that she is entitled to terminate her pregnancy at whatever time, in whatever way, and for whatever reason she alone chooses. With this we do not agree.”

Representing Vermonters, this House majority are cosponsoring H.57, “An act relating to preserving the right to abortion,” which states: “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law."

Unlike Roe v. Wade, H.57 does not mention quickening, defined as “reach[ing] the stage of gestation at which fetal motion is felt” (Merriam-Webster).

And H.57 does not mention viability: “having attained such form and development of organs as to be normally capable of surviving outside the uterus.”

Why not?

Howard Fairman
Putney

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Originally published in The Commons issue #496 (Wednesday, February 6, 2019). This story appeared on page D3.

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