Lawmakers seek new protections for abortion and ‘gender affirming’ services

Two members of the Office of Legislative Counsel sat in with the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday morning to discuss a bill that would impact abortion and sex change policies, especially as it pertains to the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Committee Chair Sen. Virginia “Ginny” Lyons, D-Chittenden, is the lead sponsor of S.37, an act relating to access to legally protected activity and regulation of health care providers.

state of Vermont

Sen. Ginny Lyons, D-Chittenden

“This is commonly known as the reproductive shield or protection law,” Lyons said. “The bill comes as a result of all of the national activity and state activity around Roe v. Wade and protections for health care givers who might be, or patients coming from out of state to receive services in Vermont and protecting providers in the state as they carry out their work, and in particular with regards to abortion services and other protected healthcare services.”

Lyons said S.37 is “a priority bill” and noted that the companion bill currently in the House Judiciary Committee focuses more on litigation, while this bill aims at regulations for health care providers.

Two members of the Vermont Office of Legislative Counsel to speak at the meeting were Amerin Aborjaily and Jennifer Carbee, director and chief counsel.

Multiple initiatives in S.37

Aborjaily outlined 10 objectives that the bill seeks to accomplish. The first is to add formal definitions into state law concerning the terms “gender-affirming healthcare services,” “legally protected healthcare activity” and “reproductive healthcare services.”

“This is an important one because this is a lot of the basis for the provisions you are going to see,” Aborjaily said.

She also said “legally protected healthcare activity” will always include both abortion and gender-affirming services.

The second is to prohibit any medical malpractice insurers from adjusting a care provider’s “risk classification or premium charges in certain circumstances.”

The third is to require that health insurance plans must cover “gender-affirming health care services and abortion-related services.”

Opens Vermont to litigation?

Sen. Terry Williams, R-Rutland, posed questions on the potential for conflicts with other states’ laws regarding abortion and gender services. He asked what happens if a health insurance company from out of state sues Vermont if they are told they can’t adjust premiums or other costs associated with performing abortions or gender-affirming services.

Carbee acknowledged that litigation against Vermont health care providers by other states could occur, but that this bill aims to protect against such legal actions.

“Even though there might be potential for increased litigation based on other states’ laws, what this bill and what the other bill are trying to do is create as much protection as possible for Vermont providers,” she said.

More provisions

Other provisions in S.37 aim to prohibit any health care provider from having to face disciplinary action “for providing or assisting in the provision of legally protected health care activity”; create an “unfair and deceptive act” pertaining to pregnancy centers; require the Health Department to report on current access to abortion, birthing services and gender-affirming services; address emergency contraceptives; and “limit circumstances under which covered entities may disclose information regarding legally protected healthcare activity.”

The committee meeting can be viewed online here.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont

16 thoughts on “Lawmakers seek new protections for abortion and ‘gender affirming’ services

  1. I watch too many youtubes on transgender transition. Fortunately there are increasingly more on the de-transitioners and their regret, like the one I watched this morning.

    It brought me back to the murder of Feather. I was so disgusted and angered by Phil Scott and Ram Hinsdale’s rush to publicly blame trans suicides on bullying. To this day Feather’s murderer has not been charged with a hate crime and the public does not know the truth surrounding that murder.

    The de-transitioner in this video says it is older trans going after younger trans that was the most troubling and crazy-making for him – not anti-trans bullies. He and other de-transitioners have said that their issues were not trans but, having to face that they are gay.

    This video and other de-tranisitioners like him ought to be mandatory viewing for all legislators.

  2. Sounds like the committee didn’t get the memo:

    The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a professional medical association, calls on organizations to reconsider current protocols for gender dysphoric children based on newly published data.

    Dr. Quentin Van Meter, endocrinologist and Past President of ACPeds stated in response:

    “ACPeds has long held that efforts to socially, medically and surgically interfere with the biological integrity of children and adolescents are not appropriate because of the very well documented harms and questionable benefits of such interventions. This published critique has pulled the foundation out from under guidelines used by major organizations pushing for transgender interventions.”

    Dr. Andre Van Mol, board-certified family physician and Co-chair, Committee on Adolescent Sexuality for ACPeds stated:

    “ACPeds’ motto, ‘Best for Children,’ is predicated on the avoidance of any policy that harms children. ACPeds calls on WPATH, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to join with the enlightened clinicians in Sweden, the UK, and Finland, to take down their published guidelines and to shutter their gender clinics immediately.”

    This is a serious finding and will have legal implications for medical practitioners.

  3. “gender affirming “ huh? Seems to me that should mean helping people born male to be ok with being male and females being ok with being female. But in this twilight zone it comes to mean helping mentally ill people butcher themselves in a quest to resemble the opposite gender. Very strange.

    And ditto how they want to protect health care providers but evidently not those who told the truth about the vax, wrote medical exemptions or proscribed treatments our health department didn’t sanction such as Ivermectin.

    Definitely feel like I’m in Alice and Wonderland.

  4. News for you ginny the drunk, not all the nation is onboard with killing baby’s even after they are born, only leftist states with no compassion for life. Many states have set time limits on abortion. As for gender affirming the state shouldn’t be in the business of protecting the right to have mental illness. The science states without any variation there are ONLY 2 genders xx and xy.

    • Bean: you could be sued for your incredibly mean-spirited slander about the legislator.
      I am very surprised TNR isn’t taking your comment down.

        • Recovery may mean to you changing one single-minded stupidity for another. It means something else to me.

          Now, do you have anything of value to say.

      • Actually, it is an enhanced hate crime, passed by our legislature last year- if DBeans comment isn’t accurate. ms. lyons could clarify both, she voted for the bill.

      • She was arrested for Drunk Diving after crashing her Mercedes which is why I called her a drunk, you can’t sue for stating a Fact Jack. If it’s not still alcohol she sure seems to be drunk on power…sorry i ruffled your feathers NOT.
        Anyone calling abortion health care deserves no respect from me. If it’s being detrimental to the mothers health or because of rape I’m fine with it but abortion on demand isn’t health care.

  5. See we were duped again….many of us said this had nothing to do with roe v Wade,

    But we once again were outplayed, it’s almost like the VTGOP is the perfect foil for them, playing into everything.

    Now they’ll be able to constitutional operate on your child without your permission, does matter for discussions sake what the operation is, it’s wrong.

    Evil, evil evil

    • Sounds like Vermonters need an organization like PETA only this organization would be People for the Ethical Treatment of Children. I notice that most of these legislators are well past the age of having more children or abortions.

    • Neil, Yes, yes, yes. Once again the Repubs were outplayed. I couldn’t agree more. You sound like you are blaming the Dems for GOP’s failure.

      I thought the GOP campaign on H106 was VERY foolish. Abortion is well protected in this state. It was such a losing strategy to focus on it. I was hoping they would focus on the trans issue and the state removing parental authority.

      The GOP is stuck in such a losing rut. Can’t keep blaming the Dems.

      • Perhaps this is an ideological issue, not merely one political party vs. another.
        Since “reproductive rights” and “gender affirmation” became a plank of the Democratic Party and is used by D/P candidates and office holders, they have claimed title to these issues. Those that have a different view of both seem to have a different political affiliation that D or P. But political party isn’t the issue. The issue is treating a mental illness defined as “gender dysphoria” in children, adolescents and teenagers. Demanding the state intercede in parental rights, provide taxpayer funded treatment and “gender affirming” surgery to the children is morally wrong. We, regardless of political affiliation legally regard children as unable to make certain decisions for themselves and require the parent(s) to make such decisions. Until abortion rights, reproductive rights and “Gender dysphoria” are the decisions. These
        three seem to launch certain people into orbit, with the belief that somehow an minor child possesses the competency to abort a baby or rearrange ones genitalia to suit a whim or a mental illness.
        Joy, while I may agree that the Republican Party is “in a rut”- we certainly can blame the party in power- the super-majority Democratic Party, with the Progressives in tow
        for the current fusillade of legislation that is morally wrong, harmful to children and families and damaging to society. ms. lyons, the lead sponsor of S.37 and the 19 others listed as sponsors are all democrats or progressives. Not a Republican Party member on that list. In fact, the republican representation in both the house and senate this biennium by percentage is close to the percentage of Vermont residents that pay taxes. That is, not many.

        • I agree with almost everything you say here, Mr. Bammo. It is terrifying and immoral what is being done to children. No child should be allowed to have gender surgery without legal representation, a guardian ad litem.
          I went to the polls solely to vote for H106. I didn’t vote for anything or anyone else.
          I recently heard a mother bragging that her son was trans. She was getting her kicks from it. It made me sick. Even parents can’t be trusted to protect their children. I would have liked to confront her but I didn’t.
          Still, Repubs cannot blame the Dems. If they had a platform that meets peoples’ needs, there wouldn’t be a super-majority in the legislature.

          • And the fact you didn’t vote for anything but proposal 5 is indicative of the malaise and apathy of Vermont’s moderate voters. If you saw no candidate worthy of your vote, then your abstention actually counted as a vote for the super majority. Surely, some of the candidates for statewide office might have been acceptable to you? Apparently not, and now we must all deal with the outcome of this biennium.
            Regarding statewide offices, not one candidate I support was elected, but I damn sure voted for every office, as to avoid the situation Vermont is now facing.

      • It’s two part, if some one steals your car and the cops don’t find the criminal. It doesn’t change the fact a crime has been done. It does also point to ineffective police work/and or lack of police.

        Without a basic understanding of how society, western society is to function, we are completely lost. There is a solid foundation upon which our country was and is operating on.

        Generally speaking that book has been thrown out the window, some people think it’s an outdated book written by old men. Others recognize it as the foundation of Judeo/Christian Western civilization.

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