Majority rams unrestricted abortion through House in preliminary vote

Michael Bielawski/TNR

NO RELIEF FOR BABIES IN VERMONT: Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, a lead sponsor of H.57, talks about why abortion should be completely unregulated in Vermont.

MONTPELIER — The Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of an unrestricted right to exterminate pregnancies through all nine months of a baby’s development.

In a session debate that lasted all afternoon and into the evening, the majority Democrats and Progressives shot down amendment after amendment that would have placed minor common sense restrictions on abortion — including parental notification for minors and a ban on abortions after 24 weeks.

House members voted them all down by about a 3-1 margin before approving H.57 by a vote of 104-40.

Rep. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington and one of two primary sponsors of the bill, explained the legislation ahead of the marathon debate.

“It prohibits a public entity from interfering with the rights set forth above. It also provides that law enforcement shall not prosecute an individual for inducing their own abortion. It provides that a public entity should not deprive a person of her right to have an abortion, and shall not interfere with or restrict the right of a person to have an abortion through regulation or provision of benefits, ability, services or information,” she said.

RELATED: Arkansas passes law banning abortion if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

The House Committee on Human Services, where the bill originated, has taken many hours of testimony on the bill. Pugh said the committee heard from more than 300 people, both professionals and nonprofessionals alike.

“We ask that you support this bill,” she said. “Women should be able to make this very personal decision without political interference, and that is what this bill provides.”

Rep. Vicki Strong, R-Albany, introduced two amendments Wednesday. One would have required the same health safety standards for abortion clinics as for ambulatory facilities.

“There are complications, there are situations that happen with women that maybe aren’t even being reported,” she said. “To ask for better regulations, inspections, safety standards and sanitation, I believe it’s completely in compliance with other ways that we care about living things.”

Strong’s other proposed amendment was for voluntary ultrasounds for women 24 hours prior to an abortion. She said 28 states have similar versions of that health care practice.

Another amendment, put forward by Reps. Carl Rosenquist, R-Georgia, and Robert Bancroft, R-Westford, would have prohibited abortions after 24 weeks, once the baby can survive on its own outside of the mother.

But Rep. William Notte, D-Rutland, spoke on the house floor in defense of late-term abortions.

“These women are facing one of the toughest periods in their life,” he said. “They have named their child, they have designed their nurseries, they’ve put their cribs together, and now they are facing horrific news. What should the legislature do in these situations? We should get out of their way.”

Bancroft, who also offered the parental consent amendment, said parents should be included when it comes to surgical decisions about their children and teen pregnancy.

“I offer this amendment to make sure that parents are aware of a traumatic event in their minor daughter’s life,” Bancroft said. “If she is being abused by an abusive boyfriend or a relative then this amendment could expose the abuse and then not send her back to the abuser.”

Another of his amendments was to have a 48-hour wait period prior to an abortion.

In every attempt to regulate abortion, the “no” votes overwhelmed the “yes” votes.

Strong said Vermont lawmakers are more concerned with protecting animals and honey bees than the unborn.

“In our committee today we talked about our concern about honey bees and how we want to make sure they are not exposed to pesticides,” she said. “We talked about euthanizing pets in humane ways, including feral cats. We talked about how to regulate slaughterhouses to make sure that in the end moments of the life of an animal that they are in complete safety and done in a humane way. … Madame Speaker, we need to worry about protecting our women and protecting how they are treated and what kind of scenarios they are experiencing.”

Pro-abortion advocates in Vermont and across the country fear the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, support for third-trimester abortions has collapsed nationwide, with only about 13 percent of Americans saying the practice should be legal, according to a May 2018 Gallup poll.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who has received a perfect 100 percent score from Planned Parenthood, has not yet signaled what he will do if H.57 reaches his desk. But earlier this month he reaffirmed his support of abortion.

“I’ve been for a woman’s right to choose and I’ve been consistent with that throughout my political career,” he said. “I’ve said that I want to wait for this process to work its way through. … I’m watching, but it’s a conversation that they need to have first.”

Ahead of Wednesday’s debate, Planned Parenthood of New England sent an email to all representatives before they took to the floor, reminding them that they would be scored on their votes.

“The scorecard will be used as an important reference for future endorsements of PPVTAF IE PAC, as well as in any additional relevant discussions and actions as they arise in our work with the Vermont legislation,” the email said.

Rep. Jim Carroll, D-Bennington, offered his response to receiving the letter.

“With respect to Planned Parenthood closely monitoring our votes on amendments on the bill and grading us, I don’t really care,” he said. “It’s a matter of conscience and I’m gonna vote with my conscience.”

Earlier this year, over 500 people marched the streets of Montpelier and crowded into the Statehouse to stand for life. A week earlier, a few hundred participated in a smaller Women’s March of a few hundred, which was largely in support of abortion.

Wednesday’s roll call vote ordered a third and final reading of the bill, which is scheduled for Thursday.

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

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story incorrectly attributed a quote by Rep. William Notte to Rep. Nader Hashim.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR

30 thoughts on “Majority rams unrestricted abortion through House in preliminary vote

  1. Another unanticipated result of this is the loss of vacationers spending money here. I’ve read many tweet strings of conservatives and actual Moral people who have written this state off their annual visit list… smart move you bumbling idiots under the golden dunce dome

    States run by fascist Murders are not very welcoming

    • Great info didn’t think of it or seen. I believe that exposure to what’s happening in VT will curtail people from coming to VT. Money is the machine driving the MontLibs to excel. Cut off and reduce that source and they hopefully will die on the vine. If they get exposed to the light they will mimic cockroaches and hide. People do have basic morals not considered by the Soros driven sickos..A light at the end of the tunnel?

  2. So a new movie has come out about abortion, called Unplanned, it’s rated R.

    In Vermont children won’t be able to see the movie, but they can have an abortion performed without their parents consent or knowing.

  3. Shame on the VT House for passing H57, especially by such a large margin; so much for the sanctity of life! In their quest to control every aspect of our existence, the central-planning crowd who now control the legislature will not rest until they completely rip our society in half. The thought that we’re about to “codify” a woman’s “right” to murder her unborn child, up to the ninth month of development, should shock the conscience of all thinking Vermonters. And there’s another dynamic to this debate that is seldom if ever mentioned: what about the psychological impact that voluntary abortion has on the men and women who opt for this way to escape their parental responsibilities? For a state that purports to care so much about its citizens’ “mental health,” was there any testimony taken from experts in this field before the vote was rammed through? As I understand it, all attempts to amend the bill were easily defeated, including one that would have granted the unborn child some rights. I implore Governor Scott to do the right thing and VETO this bill. If this horrific bill is to become law, let those who sponsored and supported it own it completely; let the blood be on their hands…

  4. It seems the VT Legislature is on a killing spree (legalized). Gun control so innocent people ca’t protect themselves and become grass fertilizer in a cemetery. Next, abortion at late terms and after birth.

    Given the deaths of the newborn and those to be born, what’s there to say that a possible future Einstein, Mozart, Hubble, Newton, Jefferson, Madison, G. Washington, Da Vincy, Plato (and you can add plenty more) were terminated?

    Such shortsightedness, power play, self importance, dumbness. On a recent news program, it’s reported that 18% of Americans have mental problems. On a percentage ratio that means 18% of the VT Legislature is also mentally impaired. Upon getting voted to Government they should take a proficiency, mental and lie detector test and weed out the problem makers before they can destroy. I include Lalond in this as well as Ann Pugh.

  5. Another example of the immorality of Vermont liberalism. Those who favor infanticide are morally delusional, otherwise, how could you justify supporting this bill.

  6. Digger is doing massive, massive censoring on their sites. They are also slow walking any commentaries that are contrary to their cause, which isn’t journalism. Apparently in the “new” system when they censor comments no they are immediately deleted. They must be very, very busy “moderating” all the Vermonters. I printed, roughly the following last night, about 3 minutes after they posted the article. The other story was completely removed, nowhere to be found this morning.


    With this law, their legal argument without question states the following;

    What is inside a woman is tissue/fetus until the moment of exit. It is not a baby at any point prior to this. A Baby is only created upon the willful birth of a fetus by a woman. (Basically a woman is now God) Only the woman can declare it a baby.

    The man and the woman made no declaration they wanted a baby in private/public or legally. A basic indication might be marriage. Otherwise one can only assume they were having recreational sex/physically enjoying themselves and at most creating tissue and a pregnancy.

    This means a man only gets a woman pregnant. A man can only create tissue/fetus. He is responsible for nothing more or nothing less.

    The state and the man can not force a woman to turn her tissue/fetus into a baby.

    Therefore their is no financial responsibility to the man other than for getting a woman unpregnant. The man did not create a baby with her. There is no financial responsibility for the state to care for any babies from single parents, as is was only the choice of the woman, her sole decision to create a baby as she only had tissue.

    This might be the very best thing for the a sanctity of marriage. For Overturning Roe vs. Wade or the very least adding some sanity to the argument.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if in their selfishness and bully tactics, Maxine Grad and Mitzi Johnson, along with all the Democrats in Vermont were instrumental in overturning our current non-sensical legislation from a trip to the Supreme Court?

    Poetic Justice, who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

    • See none of their arguments make any sense…

      But perhaps the money is what will change things. Their shining star is money, without the money I suspect the discussion will take a drastically more advantageous turn for discussions.

  7. I told my representative this was all political about Trump and reversal of Roe vs Wade, exactly what Rep Pugh said! These fools have pushed these bills to have it end up in the Supreme Court!! This is not about women rights!
    I hope True North publishing the entire vote so we can see how our representatives and senators voted on this. We may see changes in the next election cycle.

    • @ KC

      If we had the changes needed up to and including mr. governor and the majority of the merry Marxists of Montpelier,we may not be in the position of legitimatizing state sanctioned murder.

  8. Class 101 – How Lobbyists Run the State of Vermont, a basic overview on how lobbyists subvert a Constitutional Republic. (preview of topics below)

    Ahead of Wednesday’s debate, Planned Parenthood of New England sent an email to all representatives before they took to the floor, reminding them that they would be scored on their votes.

    You see this is how the lobbyists run our state. Planned Parenthood or their PAC sent out questionnaires before the election. Score 100% and we’ll give you money. PP alone had enough money to fund an entire political party. You could answer, Yes, No or fill out your thoughts.

    Personally I filled out my thoughts, along with letting them know we wouldn’t’ take PAC money. I scored 0% on their profile.

  9. Anything for the women’s vote here in Vermont…………I have always been pro choice but this is lunacy!

  10. A new level of evil has permeated our state government. There is no circumstance where killing a child just prior to birth is necessary or right.
    God will not be mocked.

  11. MURDER, MURDER, MURDER with no consequences. Sadly, only in Vermont. The inmates are running the institution. Literally.

  12. These aren’t Progs, but rather Trogs (troglodytes!) Remember the faces of these MURDERERS. We need to take a page from Mad Maxine Waters and get in their faces to expose them, shame them all the way to hell wherever we see them. Make them understand, expose their collective conscience for what they are, for the rest of their natural lives!

  13. Better Headline would have been:

    “Fascist’s faction ok with murder up to 10 months old”

    Deranged Trump haters feveriously protecting their favorite activities, killing baby’s and taking away guns….

  14. The pro choice argument is a fallacy and uses he same flawed argument made in past history that allowed governments to justify the persecution of the Native Americans, slavery of African Americans, and the genocide of the Jewish and Ukrainian holocausts.
    These abuses were allowed by educated people that were swept away by popular culture to think that these groups of people were less human. THE UNBORN ARE HUMAN.

    H.57 DISCRIMINATES against the unborn and puts Vermont on the wrong side of history

  15. Again, I stand by my previous comment on this subject. Lawmakers that attach their name to this bill will be held responsible for every death of late term abortions. Just because you get elected into office in a one party state does not mean that politics won’t change. Lawmakers are expected to show leadership and example. What kind of message are you showing to young families looking to settle and stay in Vermont? Shame on you!jj

  16. The merry Marxists of Montpelier approve of state sanctioned murder,which proves yes one can go lower than a snake.

  17. With this bill, the democrat party of Vermont has descended into the pits of hell— and may they all burn there forever.

  18. The Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday voted in favor of an “unrestricted ” right to exterminate pregnancies through all nine months of a baby’s development, these legislators need
    to be Held Accountable for this butchery !!

    What about the rights of the child, No respect for Children of Vermont.

    Rep. Ann Pugh needs to feel the wrath of Vermont, send her packing back to NY along with the
    rest of these flatlanders we have that have infested The State House.

  19. “We ask that you support this bill,” she said. “Women should be able to make this very personal decision without political interference, and that is what this bill provides.”

    Get a clue ! Those of us that object to unrestricted abortion are doing it our of moral beliefs, not political beliefs. Your attempt to tie opposition to this gruesome bill to politics is a dodge from the real issue; the rights of a viable fetus and the allowance of terminating the life of a unborn child. That is NOT political and no matter how much you trumpet the rights of the mother, you cannot runaway and hide from the moral arguments.

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