Opinion: NPR story on new late-term abortion clinic a warning for Vermonters

This commentary is by Matthew Strong, executive director of Vermonters for Good Government.

Vermonters For Good Government has been raising the alarm about the reality of Prop 5/Article 22 since the beginning of our campaign. Late term abortion survivor Melissa Ohden is featured in our new campaign ads specifically detailing what it means for the future of Vermont.

Our 30 second TV spot:

See full 4-minute full length version here.

A recent story by NPR (“An all-trimester abortion clinic prepares to open in Maryland” 9/1/22), corroborates our campaign points, and should serve as a warning to Vermonters about what happens when laws legalizing late term abortion are enacted in a state.

Proposal 5/Article 22 would enshrine in Vermont a right to abortion at any time during pregnancy and make it difficult to impossible for lawmakers in the future to limit or regulate existing abortion providers or, as in Maryland, new abortion businesses moving in to exploit the lax legal and regulatory environment.

The NPR story describes the opening of a late-term abortion providing clinic following the passage of new laws by that state’s legislature expanding access to such abortions, even after the unborn child is able to survive outside the womb.

Key realities the NPR story highlights:

  • Late-term abortions (those after 23 weeks or six months gestation when the unborn child can survive outside the womb) do occur. “When their all-trimester clinic opens, Horvath and Nuzzo expect to treat perhaps 10 people each week.”
  • Legalization/Deregulation of late-term abortion will increase demand for such procedures: “Partners in Abortion Care expects it will be the southernmost facility offering abortions later in pregnancy. As she anticipates the patients they’ll serve, Nuzzo compares it to ‘opening floodgates.’”
  • Late-term abortion “tourism” is the business model these new, loosely, or un-regulated clinics are pursuing: “The clinic expects to treat an influx of patients coming north from states with abortion bans”
  • Late-term abortions do not just occur when the life of the mother or child is in danger: “We’re definitely going to be seeing people who wanted an abortion two or three months ago … and could not navigate the web of restrictions, or could not come up with the funding, or could not get transportation or child care or time off of work.”

Proponents of Proposal 5/Article 22 are clearly the ones spreading misinformation about the realities surrounding late-term abortion. Maryland’s laws, lax as they are, are more stringent than what Vermont would have should this constitutional amendment pass. Anyone who thinks we can pass Proposal 5 and not see this kind of late-term abortion business activity move into Vermont isn’t being honest. This does not represent Vermonters’ values at all.

Polls following the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade show that as much as 90% of Americans oppose unregulated late-term abortions, and prefer state governments to retain the ability to regulate abortion policy, especially after 24 weeks of gestation.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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