Constitutional amendment would leave reproductive decisions to the individual

PUTNEY — As a Vermonter who has lived here all my life and seen the uplifting of individual rights grow, thanks to our Legislature and those voting for those decision-makers, I am urging others to support the passage of the Reproductive Liberty Amendment (Proposition 5) to our state constitution.

In light of the 15-week ban on abortion services in Mississippi, argued recently before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the six-week ban on the same in Texas, it is not unlikely that the legal rights to such care held by individuals across the U.S. might be limited or abolished sometime in the not-so-distant future.

The Reproductive Liberty Amendment is simple: if passed, it would ensure that reproductive decisions are up to the individual to make without interference from politicians who would restrict these rights.

The individual protections of the Reproductive Liberty Amendment are for the rights of all people in Vermont to become pregnant, to carry a pregnancy to term, and to choose or refuse contraception, sterilization, and abortion.

These rights, if added to Vermont's constitution, will be with Vermonters long-term.

It is not uncommon for opponents of these individual rights to shame patients who are seeking and accessing essential reproductive health care, as if these choices were not legitimate health matters.

Since the origin of the Reproductive Liberty Amendment in 2019, these opponents have been likely, especially in light of its near unanimous support in both houses of Vermont's Legislature, to issue false statements about the legal protections upheld by the amendment and the fairness of the legislative process of its adoption into law.

I am urging other Vermonters like myself not to be misled by these false claims.

Be aware that it is the stated interest of such opponents for the government to make regulations concerning a citizen's reproductive freedom in Vermont. The Reproductive Liberty Amendment, if passed, would prevent such control.

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