Photo Credit: Credit Tomasz Kobosz
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Lawmakers in Vermont have proposed a bill that would codify abortion in state law as being a “fundamental right,” while also stating that “[a] fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law.” Republican governor Phil Scott says that he is supportive on the concept of enshrining Roe v. Wade in state law.
House Bill 57 was introduced last month by Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, and with the backing of 90 co-sponsors.
“The General Assembly intends this act to safeguard the right to abortion in Vermont by ensuring that right is not denied, restricted, or infringed by a governmental entity,” the bill reads.
It states that “[e]very individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.” The legislation also declares that “[a] fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights
under Vermont law.”
Women who attempt a self-abortion—that is, those who use their own means to end their unborn child’s life—will not be prosecuted if the bill becomes law.
“No state or local law enforcement shall prosecute any individual for inducing, performing, or attempting to induce or perform the individual’s own abortion,” H.57 states.
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe attended a news conference on the 46th year of Roe v. Wade, which has ended the lives of 60 million children and counting, to express support for the legislative effort. Johnson said that
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