This letter is by V. Curtis Hunter, of Bolton.
Prop 5 is framing abortion as the exercise of reproductive freedoms and rights, but is the absurdity here not giving you pause?
The legislative majority has declared through Prop 5 that this constitutional amendment is needed because Vermonters’ reproductive rights are at risk. Since when are reproductive rights at risk in Vermont? The fact is they are not. The right to reproduce is not limited and the amendment will not change that fact.
To quote the amendment: “ensure that every Vermonter is afforded personal reproductive liberty”; and those reproductive rights “shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest.”
So, the convoluted logic behind Prop 5 is this: We will have protected our endangered rights to reproduce by ensuring that the result of sexual liberty can be exterminated if we have second thoughts. Is that about right?
In another current bill, The Vermont legislative majority has considered “delayed purchase” as a needed restriction on the exercise of our Second Amendment rights. The thinking here by the legislature is that the law may protect against an impulse to shoot someone. If that same thinking is applied to Prop 5’s prohibition on infringement to harm another person or create an unwanted outcome, then should Prop 5 have a provision for a “waiting period” before we have a sexual encounter that may result in pregnancy?
How about a law requiring a 20-year waiting period before we exercise our right to abort our mistakes — you know, just to see if he/she/it might have turned out to be a person we didn’t want dead?
Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan voiced he disagrees with a federal court decision upholding a state’s right to ban second trimester ‘dismemberment’ abortions. Our elected AG says it is “a plain affront to Roe v. Wade – depriving women of basic healthcare rights.” (Donovan said this on Twitter August 19.) This view appears to be an exercise in ruling Vermonters rather than representing us.
Mr. Donovan, like our legislative leadership, is out of touch with Vermonters as the majority of us favor limits to late term abortion. Many of us support a woman’s right to choose. But abortion to the moment of birth? This is like arguing for the right to eat but extending that to eating each other. Does the logic of this — the affront to humanity — not give you pause? Is this what we want?
The freedom to reproduce? Is that really the issue? We are asked to agree that, once the freedom to reproduce has been exercised, the elimination of the result is to be enshrined in our Constitution. The abolitionists went to great lengths to get us to change our minds about slaves being people, not property. Aren’t human reproductive results people? Don’t human lives, once started, also deserve the protections accorded the rest of us? This initiative to change our Constitution is bad law. Let’s vote no.
V. Curtis Hunter