Jean Anne Kiewel

‘Compelling State interest’ is clearly defined

Contrary to what Erica Walch writes, a “compelling State interest” limiting personal reproductive autonomy is clearly defined in United States law, and we need passage of Article 22 to the Vermont Constitution to limit it and protect Vermonters' right to abortion.

Article 22 states: “That an individual's right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one's own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Currently, elective abortion is legal in Vermont, but in times past, it was prohibited. It is not true that the state can't interfere with that right. The very first law in Vermont's criminal code (13 VSA sec. 101–104) used to prohibit “purposefully [doing] some of things prohibited intending thereby to procure miscarriage of a woman pregnant or supposed by him to be, and that such miscarriage was not necessary to save her life.” This law was on the books from 1867 until 2013, and elective abortion was prosecuted as a crime in Vermont through 1970.

In 1972, in the case of Beecham v. Leahy, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that “the prohibitory regulations of this section (13 VSA sec. 101) do not apply to [the pregnant female]. [...] As to her, her personal rights have been left to her, and there is no legislative declaration saying that her own concerns for her personal integrity are in any way criminal or proscribed.”...

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Trump administration witnesses deserve no accolades

I have no accolades for U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, or any members of the Trump administration testifying before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol. It is the least they can do to atone for their roles in putting Trump in...

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Balint: supports Vermont farmers, cannabis as medicine

I am supporting Becca Balint for Congress because she has integrity, grit, and compassion. My late husband and I met Balint at a candidate forum when she was first running for Windham County senator. We liked everything she had to say, except about marijuana (cannabis). She was against legalizing...

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Boycotting art, or not

I am an American Jew. I support Judaism, Jewish history, philosophy, and culture. That includes Israel, Israeli art, culture, and people. Projects, arts, and organizations that support Israelis and Palestinians, Arabs and Jews, communicating, making art, and working together for peace make me happy. My family members have worked in such organizations in Israel and the U.S. That is why I chose to attend and enjoy the Yemen Blues concert at Next Stage Arts in Putney on June 13. I...

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Remembering Judge Ethel R. Brosnahan

I am very sorry to learn of the death of the Honorable Ethel R. Brosnahan. Judge Brosnahan was a strong advocate for the citizens of Windham County. She was also a longtime mentor to me and other Windham County justice workers. I first met Judge Brosnahan when she was a Windham County deputy sheriff in charge of jurors in Windham District Court. Petite and powerful, she cut an impressive figure in her perfect uniform and beautifully coiffed hair. She was...

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Husband needs enough medicine on hand

I urge Vermont senators not to accept the proposed amendment to S.216, which would restrict the ability of medical marijuana patients - who now may grow two mature plants and up to seven immature plants - to the right to grow only two mature plants and four immature plants. The bill would also pare down the ability of medical marijuana patients to possess 2 ounces to 1 ounce. My husband is a medical marijuana patient. He suffers from two distinct...

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Don’t believe senator didn’t know

Don't believe that Senator Jeanette White didn't understand that the Senate's marijuana legalization bill got transformed into a sellout to corporate interests. And, yes, we read it - every single version.

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Whalen has been, always will be an inspiration

RE: “From Vermont family court to judging war criminals” [News, Oct. 10]: “World peace begins at home”: The work of my friend and former colleague, the Hon. Patricia Whalen, epitomizes this saying. Her work at Vermont Legal Aid, in Vermont Family Court, and in the International Court of Justice has done our community, our Windham County and Vermont bar associations, Vermont, and the United States proud. She is and always has been an inspiration to me. It will be good...

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