MONTPELIER, Vt. — Setting it on track to becoming law, the Vermont House of Representatives has overwhelmingly advanced 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.” It additionally prohibits the prosecution of any woman who uses means to induce her own abortion.
According to reports, House Bill 57, also known as “The Freedom of Choice Act,” passed 106-36 on Thursday after being co-sponsored by 90 House members who feared that the U.S. Supreme Court might overturn the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade.
“This bill is really about saying that we trust Vermonters with their own health care decisions in the privacy of their own doctors’ offices,” claimed Democratic House Speaker Rep. Mitzi Johnson, according to local television station WCAX, as if abortions are largely for medical purposes rather than convenience reasons.
“This bill will ensure that women are able to make private medical decisions with the advice of health care professionals they trust, without the interference of politicians,” similarly remarked Meagan Gallagher, president of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, in a statement.
As previously reported, HB 57 was introduced last month by Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, and declares that “[t]he 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.”
It states that “[e]very individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right
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