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Vermont Legislators Try to Use ‘Roe’ Legislation as Vehicle for Anti-Choice Measures

Auditi Guha

Legislators proposed several anti-choice amendments in the house judiciary committee's debate on H.57, which would codify abortion rights into state law. 

Vermont Republicans on Wednesday tried to jam seven anti-choice amendments into legislation designed to protect abortion rights in the state should Roe v. Wade be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority.

GOP legislators proposed the amendments in the Vermont house judiciary committee’s debate on H.57, which would codify abortion rights into state law. The committee voted down the amendments.

The amendments ran the gamut of typical anti-choice efforts to curtail reproductive rights, ranging from fetal “personhood,” which would outlaw abortion and many kinds of contraception, to physician-only abortions and parental consent requirements. Vermont state Rep. Carl Rosenquist (R-Franklin 1), who proposed the “personhood” amendment, compared women to kangaroos that apparently value their roos more than women do their babies.

Vermont House Rep. Nader Hashim (D-Windham 4), who voted against the anti-choice measures, said the amendments were an attempt by abortion rights opponents to create more restrictions when Democrats are trying to secure reproductive rights in Vermont with a conservative majority on the Court.

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“I think a lot of these amendments are partly an attempt to subvert what H.57 is meant to do, which is protect what has already been in practice for the last 46 years. Some of these would completely turn around H.57 and actually create more restrictive laws for women,” Hashim told Rewire.News.

The Roe protection bill will be debated on the house floor and is expected to pass with a majority vote tonight before it heads to the state senate. Democrats control both of Vermont’s legislative chambers, and Gov. Phil Scott (R) has said he would support legislation to protect Roe. 

Vermont would become the latest state to codify Roe protections into state law.

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