Anne Donahue accepts challenge to debate Ann Pugh on Article 22 (Prop 5)

Appearing on WVMT’s Morning Drive radio program (6/22/22), Representative Ann Pugh said in response to the hosts that she was open to debate the merits of Proposal 5/Article 22, the proposed amendment to the Vermont Constitution that would establish a universal right to “personal reproductive autonomy.” It has been a month since that debate request, and no debate has taken place, either featuring Pugh or any of her colleagues.

state of Vermont

Rep. Anne Donahue, R-Northfield

Representative Anne Donahue, a spokesperson for Vermonters for Good Government, today formally offers to accept the challenge to discuss and debate the pros and cons of Article 22, both on the Morning Drive and in other appropriate venues.

Proponents of Article 22, such as Pugh, are telling Vermonters that this amendment would protect women’s rights to abortion by codifying Roe v. Wade in the Vermont constitution. Opponents of Article 22, who are both Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, are concerned that the actual language of the proposed amendment is problematic on a number of levels.

First, Article 22 goes far beyond Roe v. Wade in that it would allow for no legal prohibition or regulation of abortion at any time during pregnancy, up to nine months. Even a majority of people who identify as Pro-Choice do not support abortion on demand in the late term, after an unborn child is developed enough to be viable outside the womb. As such, Article 22 is far out of sync with Vermonters’ true values regarding abortion policy.

Second, the phrasing of Article 22, which specifically does not mention women, abortion, pregnancy, or bodily autonomy, is highly problematic. How future courts will interpret an individual right to “personal reproductive autonomy” is unclear, not just in regard to abortion, but also in regard to issues such as eugenics, age of consent, prostitution, and what exactly a man’s right to “personal reproductive autonomy” is and how it might be violated.

“Vermonters have to vote for or against Article 22 this fall,” said Donahue, “and an overwhelming majority still aren’t aware of what this major piece of law actually says and actually does. Vermonters deserve a robust discussion from all sides before they are asked to make such a momentous decision. I appreciate Representative Pugh’s willingness to have such a public back and forth discussion, and I look forward to taking her up on the challenge – sooner rather than later; early and often.”

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One thought on “Anne Donahue accepts challenge to debate Ann Pugh on Article 22 (Prop 5)

  1. It is noteworthy that those in the VT Legislature who are the most vocal about denouncing Vermont’s role in promoting eugenics 100 years ago are the biggest promoters of the most effective tool of eugenics…legal abortion. They honor Planned Parenthood founder and avowed racist Margaret Sanger, while insisting that 2 buildings at UVM be renamed because the people harbored some tepid level of support for eugenics at a time when it was politically popular and acceptable.

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