This letter is by Cathy Dodge, of West Danville.
Though the purveyors of this Constitutional change are framing it as an abortion rights law, it is much more than that. As the previous two segments have demonstrated, because of the vague language we as Vermonters have much more to lose than abortion rights, which are already available in previous law. This segment will look at Costs to Taxpayers, Healthcare, and Who’s Watching Out for Abortion Survivors.
Sec 2, Article 22 [Personal Reproductive Liberty] of Chapter I of the Vermont Constitution added to read:
“That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”
Problem 6: Costs to Taxpayers
“Who will be responsible? … we have had a pandemic of outsourcing legislative decision-making. I cannot stress how dangerous this is. I understand that Progressive Democrats in Montpelier want to advance policies that would not otherwise be popular, so they resort to creating untouchable boards who are insulated from democracy and who make policy that very few see or know of, and almost no one will change. While they intend to “protect” themselves from political or partisan influence, what they also do is shield themselves from accountability. ” — Paul Dame, Chairman Vermont Republican Party
The first 5 bullets below are already part of the Vermont tax burden. The remainder are potential added tax burdens should Article 22 pass along with all the “unknown” needs due to lack of evaluation of the resolution process.
. Pay for abortions
. Pay for sterilizations and their reversals
. Paid leave post abortion
. Pay for expenses associated with infertility and surrogates
. Fund pro-abortion organizations, like Planned Parenthood
. Subsidies for mothers and children abandoned by “heads of households” and having to provide for themselves
. Subsidies for new organizational structures to provide safety nets as a result of legal battles between spouses and for legal counsel for those who cannot afford to pay.
. Creation of statewide civil systems to deal with unknown numbers of cases going through the legal process, welfare system, and administrative personnel.
. Costs for an elected group of people to define, establish, administrate and determine the process for resolving these cases. Will this be another 3rd layer of government, appointed by lawmakers, with no accountability to define costs or where they are being spent?
. Costs to hire outside healthcare professionals to replace those who will step down because they are forced to perform abortions against their conscience and the Hippocratic Oath.
. Costs for any number of subsidiary expenses for legal and accounting fees that are unknown because Article 22 does not contain any limits to process.
. Healthcare costs rise due to increased burden of coverage for healthcare professionals, services, hospital and clinic space, specialized equipment and the list goes on.
. Increased educational costs for sex education programs, teacher education, materials, nursing staff to indoctrinate children and interconnect with professional facilities to provide sex change services.
Costs will only be limited to the number of programs and methods of producing outcomes that can be envisioned and developed to bring life change agendas to pass, and increased need for services as those wanting sexual lifestyle change begin to move into Vermont. In the same way that folks wanting same sex marriages came to Vermont for services when we were the first state to legalize it; our infrastructures, housing, amenities, expanded medical services and any number of unknowns will need to be financially supported. Statistics show that half the United States population relies on government programs. We will be looking at increases across the board to sustain every lifestyle variant that will require a separate financial consideration. When you observe the laws being put forward to make use of federal incentives monies sent to the State, it only appears that our legislators would like to find ways to spend it all. Spending “everything” has never been a good financial strategy. We need to be mindful to keep the surplus in our coffers for the day when unexpected crises will give us need to use it.
Ironically enough, former Democratic Governor Howard Dean recently retweeted a video of Justice Souter talking about the fundamental breakdowns in society when problems are not addressed and people don’t know who is responsible.
“The question is never truly whether or not the State’s Government can afford it — the question is always whether or not the taxpayers can afford it. The government doesn’t have its own money — it can only take from the taxpayers. At the end of the day, they are always the ones who pay. Sometimes by paying higher taxes, and sometimes by paying higher costs for the policies the government has implemented.” — Paul Dame, Chairman Vermont Republican Party
Mary Beerworth, Executive Director, Vermont Right to Life stated that “Planned Parenthood is used to having lots of clout at the Vermont Statehouse, including use of taxpayer-funded staff to draft bill language. She added that abortion rights groups were allowed to “use the Office of Attorney General for meetings over the whole summer of 2018.” Planned Parenthood of Vermont is the leading supporter of Article 22. Other backers include Let’s Grow Kids and Voices for Vermont’s Voices for Children. “Many, many, many of them are using our taxpayer dollars [to support abortion legislation],” Beerworth said.
Problem 7: Healthcare
. Healthcare professionals will be forced to take part in practices that contradict the healing oaths of medicinal integrity (“first, do not harm” Hippocratic Oath) and against their moral and ethical character.
. As a result of the above, healthcare providers will be compelled to leave their jobs and there will be shortages of caregivers across the board.
. No conscience rights for healthcare professionals or freedom from discrimination in Vermont law. “They should never have to choose between violating their conscience and losing their job”. Catherine Glenn Foster, Americans United for Life
“Data from a survey of medical professionals nationwide done by the Christian Medical Association and Freedom 2 Care revealed 91% of professionals they surveyed would cease practicing entirely without conscience protections. What will it mean for the state’s ability to attract medical professionals if Vermont becomes known as a destination for abortion tourism? And if “reproductive care” is a constitutional right, prioritized above other medical care, what will the response of Vermont patients waiting on critical treatments be while the needs of out-of-state late-term abortion seekers are met instead?” Excerpt from Matthew Strong, Executive Director, Vermonters for Good Government Action
What kind of conscientious care can pregnant mothers and children expect, when reproductive dollars are rerouted to efforts for increasing abortions and related sexual lifestyle change; at the expense of efforts to help families and children?
What kind of healthcare privacy laws will be required to be written for sex education in schools and the conversations behind closed doors where teachers and educational nursing staff assist children to have sexual changes without parents knowledge?
Insurance costs will rise for businesses and taxpayers as fathers as well as mothers, or both partners in same sex marriages, and surrogates will be given paid pregnancy leave.
Who is accepting responsibility, not only for dollars spent, but for the integrity of the process, the system established, and the ‘cost’ to the strength of the family unit in Vermont. Seems like the fox is watching the henhouse.
Problem 8: Who’s Watching Out for the Survivors of Failed Abortions?
Failed Abortion Definition: The baby is still alive and viable after the procedure and either lives with multiple chances for physical and mental handicaps, or the baby dies within a few minutes or hours, in many cases without life support measures. For more statistical information on ‘abortion survivors’ go to https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF19E62.pdf (The Family Resource Council)
When we talk about personal reproductive autonomy, who will be standing up for babies that survive abortion and what recourse will be available to these human beings should Article 22 pass? When I personally was made aware of the number of failed abortions and heard the stories of these survivors, I was horrified. The struggles that these brave souls have gone through and overcome, were challenging to hear and miraculous to see!
There are about 2% of documented abortions that are unsuccessful, mostly from saline abortions or late term pregnancies. (These statistics from 2003-2014 CDC reports equate to about 150 deaths per year) This percentage was suspected to be low, as many failed abortions are either kept quiet due to embarrassment and shame within individual families where the child lives with a mental and physical handicap; or because abortion clinics try to keep these cases suppressed. (See Family Resource link above) Fast forward 7 more years and the numbers are inevitably higher as advanced late term abortions are legalized. Take, for instance, the recent discovery reported by Tucker Carlson at Fox News that 5 infants were found dead in a Washington DC abortion clinic at 27 weeks gestation and those involved are asking for an investigation:
“Details are surfacing around the shocking discovery of five late term aborted babies, who may have been born alive, or killed in illegal partial birth abortions. The bodies of the babies were found at the Washington Surgi Center, in Washington DC, and have led to growing calls for the U.S Department of Justice to investigate. The facility advertises abortions at “27 plus weeks of pregnancy”, which is long past the point when babies are viable outside the womb.” Reported by Tucker Carlson, Chip Roy and Right To Life. https://www.lifenews.com/2022/04/07/chip-roy-slams-democrats-for-ignoring-babies-potentially-killed-in-infanticide-may-god-have-mercy-on-this-nation/
Vermont’s proposed amendment to the constitution known as Article 22, opens the door to making similar atrocities common place right here in Vermont. Whatever your stance on abortion, blatant coverup of these kinds of horrendous circumstances are inexcusable. Is this really what we want reproductive autonomy to look like in Vermont? As distasteful as this may be to some, we need to stop sweeping this information under the rug. General indifference to what abortion is, pretending that we are not taking lives, and how it has become a multi-billion dollar business is like the 21st century version of The Emperor’s New Clothes. We need to stop turning blind eyes. Every human being is more than a choice!
For more information or for emotional support if you or someone you love is an abortion survivor, go to https://www.abortionsurvivors.org
A fundamental principal of a functioning Democracy is that the people know what their government is doing, and have input on whether or not they should keep doing it through regular elections. Voting NO on passage of Article 22 will demonstrate “We the people’s” decision.
In Part 4 we will look at Parent’s Rights and Education.