This letter is by Lynn Kuralt, a candidate for state representative in the Windham-4 district.
We all have a story to tell about why we believe what we do about abortion — it either unites us or divides us and sometimes even motivates us. When Prop5/Article 22 was released, this was the last straw for me. I cannot stick my head in the sand and be silent about what this ambiguous and weakly worded change to our Vermont Constitution may allow. Unborn children cannot speak for themselves, therefore I want to give them a voice.
I was already deeply disturbed to learn that current Vermont law embraces unrestricted abortion after viability and until moment of birth (Act 47). It’s unbelievable that we allow this while we proudly and legally protect 215 plants and animals. Additionally, I read about Maryland’s Pregnant Person’s Freedom Act of 2022 (MD Senate Bill 669) which was, thankfully, defeated. However, it didn’t stop there as now Michigan is considering a similar bill along with California Gov. Newsom (see CA Bill AB2223) which he signed on Sept. 27. This shockingly prevents coroners from investigating deaths “related to or following known or suspected self-induced or criminal abortion,” including deaths of babies during the “perinatal” period — which is up to 28 days after birth — if the death is “due to causes that occurred in utero.” What does that mean? Infanticide? If we vote to include Article 22 in our state constitution will something like this come to Vermont’s doorstep?
Consider this: Article 22 is without the words “women,” “abortion” or “pregnancy.” Also, it includes no reference to age, no conscience clauses, no restrictions whatsoever. Would it be interpreted to include more than the assumed “women’s reproductive rights”? How about “men’s reproductive rights”? Common sense tells me the wording is so ambiguous that it can and will be spun to endorse whatever sexual trend becomes popular — and it won’t be the people who interpret it, it will be lawyers and our courts.
What if this strangely and vaguely worded article gets into our constitution — will it then become a “right” so that our taxes would pay for a person’s “reproductive autonomy,” whatever it may be?
Let’s send this one back to the Legislature. The words just don’t add up to V-e-r-m-o-n-t.
Candidate for VT Representative
Windham 4 District