Vermont officials vow to protect women's rights if Roe v. Wade overturned

-A A +A

Vermont officials vow to protect women's rights if Roe v. Wade overturned

Tue, 05/03/2022 - 1:31pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Vermont elected leaders and others are weighing on a report from Politico that the US Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion rights decision on Roe versus Wade. The leak of this report is unprecedented among Supreme Court draft decisions. According to Politico, the decision is written by Justice Alito and is expected to be announced in June.

Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On News That The Supreme Court May Be Poised To Overturn Roe v. Wade. Tuesday, May 3, 2022

“I was deeply concerned, and saddened, to read reports that a narrow majority on the Supreme Court may be poised to overturn the landmark decision Roe v. Wade.  If the reporting is correct, the Supreme Court could send us tumbling backward in time, stripping away a bedrock constitutional right that has granted women autonomy over their bodies and health for nearly five decades.  

“Our independent federal judiciary is a crown jewel of our American system of government.  It is the envy of the world.  Today’s news threatens to propel us toward the politicization of our independent judiciary, and that should alarm every American.  Millions of Americans understand what this would mean.  It is no wonder that protests broke out on the steps of the Supreme Court overnight, just minutes after the reports came out, dotted with signs reading ‘we’re never going back.’

“If this is the direction in which this Supreme Court is headed, it would do irreparable damage to whatever remaining trust Americans have in our judiciary as an independent, apolitical branch of our government.  Overturning Roe v. Wade thus would not only endanger the enshrined rights of millions of Americans, but endanger our constitutional system of government itself.  And who knows where this ungrounded judicial activism would end?”   

Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement in response to the draft Supreme Court opinion which indicates it may overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

“I know many Vermonters are very concerned about reports the Supreme Court may overturn Roe. Although no one can know for sure that this draft will be the final opinion, I want Vermonters to be assured that this state has prepared for this possibility. Three years ago, we enacted a law that affirms the fundamental rights of all women and ensures reproductive health decisions remain between a woman and her health care provider – totally free from government interference. It is important for Vermonters to know this will remain true in Vermont regardless of what happens with the Supreme Court. And Vermonters will have the opportunity to solidify this right in November, when Prop. 5 amending Vermont’s constitution is on the ballot.”

“The fundamental rights and liberties of all women will be defended, protected and preserved in Vermont.”

CNN: Supreme Court draft opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade

Statement of Lt. Governor Molly Gray on the Leaked Draft Supreme Court Opinion Seeking to Overturn Roe v. Wade 

This morning, Lt. Governor Molly Gray released the following statement on the reported, leaked draft Supreme Court opinion seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade:  

“Should the Supreme Court’s opinion seeking to overturn Roe v. Wade be accurate, we are in the fight of our lives across Vermont and this country.   

"Our work here in Vermont to enshrine reproductive liberty as a fundamental right in our Vermont Constitution through Proposition 5 also takes on even greater urgency.   

"As Lt. Governor, I’m committed to growing statewide support for Proposition 5 and working with our Congressional delegation to encourage urgent codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law.”  

Vermont Health Care Organizations Support Reproductive Access in Light of Draft Supreme Court Opinion

A diverse coalition of Vermont health care organizations denounces the draft Supreme Court opinion which indicates it may overturn both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  We strongly support the preservation of access to abortion services in the United States.

Every person should have the right to control their own health care decisions, including the right to abortion care. As health care organizations, we strongly believe that abortion services should be treated like any other health care service.  The consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade would block millions of people from the health care they need, especially those who have less ability to take time from work or pay the expenses to travel.  

We are proud of Vermont’s achievement in 2019 putting into law protection for Vermonters’ access to safe, legal abortion, and want Vermonters to know that they still will have access to abortion services here in Vermont.  But we know there is more work to be done.  With more and more states blocking individuals’ rights to health care and in light of the draft Supreme Court opinion, we urge Vermonters to vote in November to support Proposition 5, which will amend the Constitution of the State of Vermont to ensure that every Vermonter’s right to personal reproductive liberty is protected into the future.

American Academy of Pediatrics – Vermont Chapter
Vermont Academy of Family Physicians
Stephanie Winters, Executive Director

Bi-State Primary Care Association
Mary Kate Mohlman, Director of Vermont Public Policy

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont 
Sara Teachout, Corporate Director, Government and Media Relations

Office of the Heath Care Advocate, Vermont Legal Aid
Michael Fisher, Chief Health Care Advocate

OneCare Vermont
Victoria Loner, Chief Executive Officer

Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund
Lucy Leriche, VP Vermont Public Affairs

University of Vermont Health Network
Jason W. Williams, Network Director, Government and Community Relations

Vermont Medical Society
Jessa Barnard, Executive Director

Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association
Michelle Wade MSN/Ed, APRN, President 

Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care
Catherine Fulton, Executive Director

Planned Parenthood Statement on Leaked Supreme Court Opinion Overturning Roe v Wade

Abortion is still legal in Vermont

Last night, Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that explicitly overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The draft majority opinion, written by Justice Alito, openly overrules Roe and Casey, stating that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” 

It is important to note that while this opinion is still a draft and abortion is still legal across the country (though only up to six weeks of pregnancy in Texas), this leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.

Legal abortion is protected in Vermont. If the Supreme Court allows states to ban abortion, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, but passing Reproductive Liberty Amendment   in Vermont would ensure that the rights we have today will not change tomorrow.

Statement from Lucy Leriche, Vice President of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund:

“If the Supreme Court allows states to ban abortion, we do not anticipate immediate changes to abortion laws in Vermont. But elections matter. If a majority of anti-abortion politicians take control of the legislature, they could pass laws restricting or even banning abortion. 

“To ensure that our reproductive rights are secure, we must pass the Reproductive Liberty Amendment (RLA) in November. The RLA would amend Vermont’s constitution to protect every person's right to make their own reproductive decisions, like whether and when to become pregnant, use temporary or permanent birth control, or seek abortion care.

“At Planned Parenthood, we know that banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion care. Patients who need to access abortion should not face the shame and overwhelming hurdles that will come from this decision. And we will do everything we can to help those patients get abortion care safely. “

PPVTAF is a non-partisan, non-profit organization formed as the advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. The Action Fund engages in educational activity, including legislative advocacy, and grassroots organizing. 

ACLU of Vermont Statement on Draft Supreme Court Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade 

The following statement was issued by ACLU of Vermont executive director James Lyall in response to reports of a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade:  

“If the Supreme Court issues a majority opinion along the lines of the leaked draft authored by Justice Alito, the dire consequences for our reproductive freedoms will be the most of significant of any opinion the Court has ever issued.  

If the Supreme Court overturns five decades of precedent, more than half the states in the country are poised to ban abortion, and politicians will undoubtedly try to go further to restrict and repeal fundamental liberties nationwide.  

State-level protections are now more vital than ever to safeguarding abortion rights. 

In Vermont, that means passing the Reproductive Liberty Amendment this November, to explicitly enshrine the right to reproductive healthcare in our state constitution.  The right to decide if and when to become a parent is central to an individual’s dignity and well-being, and Vermonters this year will have the opportunity to protect and affirm that fundamental right for ourselves, our neighbors, and for future generations. 

No matter how this case is ultimately decided, the ACLU and our allies across the country will never stop fighting for the right of individuals to make reproductive healthcare decisions for themselves – including decisions about contraception, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth. We will not tolerate having this fundamental right taken away.”