Sen. Joe Benning: Self evident in the Vermont tradition

Editor’s note: This commentary is by state Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia.

If one hangs around motorcyclists for any length of time you will eventually see one wearing a t-shirt that says: “If I have to explain, you’ll never understand.” This rather snarky expression embodies the frustration of a motorcyclist confronted by those who don’t ride and have little tolerance for those that do. It is not unlike the term Thomas Jefferson once scratched with quill pen into the immortal parchment that begins with the words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident” as he skillfully articulated the attitude by which a new nation was being formed. Both are premised on the right to be left alone.

state of Vermont

State Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia

That right to privacy surfaced as the Vermont Senate debated Proposition 5. Emotions are apt to override civic debate, so it is important to begin by focusing on what the language actually says. Narrowly tailored to address reproductive rights, it is centered on a right to privacy that should otherwise be self evident. It says: “An individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Vermont is historically positioned for a discussion about the proper dividing line between government intrusion and the extent to which one may control one’s own affairs. Ethan Allen once pounded his fist on a table in Bennington’s Catamount Tavern and proclaimed: “The gods of the valleys are not the gods of the hills!” Calvin Coolidge’s fountain pen proudly noted how the spirit of liberty, if vanished from the Union, could all be restored by the generous store held by the people within these borders. With clanking keys of a typewriter, Dorothy Canfield Fisher labeled our energetic grappling with “how to reconcile the needs of the group … against the craving for individual freedom” as the “Vermont Tradition.”

So how should Vermonters consider Proposition 5? It should be immediately obvious that the proposal is gender neutral, embracing privacy rights as universal. Every Vermonter should be able to determine their life course and, if faced with a proposed restriction, the burden should always be on the state to justify a compelling need. Supposing the State could so justify, any restriction should be limited to only that needed to achieve the objective. That is a proper balance in the “Vermont Tradition.”

Proposition 5 also accounts for the state’s interest in protecting a perfectly viable fetus by balancing it against a woman’s right to choose. Similar to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, its “compelling interest” balancing test declares first the privacy of the mother but reserves the possibility of state intervention to preserve the life of a fetus as it grows capable of surviving outside the womb. Contrary to the opinion of some, it would not automatically enshrine infanticide.

I decided to vote for Proposition 5 for three reasons. First, it is gender neutral, demonstrating that the right to privacy is not limited to just one issue. Second, in the case of abortion it preserves a balancing test between a woman’s right to privacy and a state’s interest in protecting a viable fetus. Third, since it is a proposal to amend our state’s constitution, it must be presented to the populace for a vote.

All of us have the right to make decisions about our own life’s course. Absent a compelling state interest, that right should never be infringed upon. In the presence of such an interest, the state should still be required to use the least restrictive means necessary. Proposition 5 is self evident in the Vermont Tradition. Hopefully a day will come when none of us should have to explain why that is.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/drsuparna and state of Vermont
Spread the love

37 thoughts on “Sen. Joe Benning: Self evident in the Vermont tradition

  1. Joe is pro choice and, like the consummate politician that he is, mirrors Phil Scott in many ways. He can parse words with the best of others in his chosen profession. Joe is trying to satisfy everybody on both sides of the abortion issue to avoid taking a definite stand. Sorry, Joe, it isn’t working. Take a firm position, for goodness sake! You supported this legislation by voting for it. That makes you pro choice.

  2. Upon reading these highly intelligent comments herein and similar informative comments in many other TNR articles, the WRONG people in Montpelier.

    With the some 660 bills (some are good tho) introduced this year alone, the recent history of Socialist VT, legislators evading their constituents on policies, there’s a major disconnect. Many comments have mentioned this.

    I find that most Conservatives don’t seek power, the Socialists Flatlanders (and the Liberal programed so-called Vters) do. Chittenden (40) and Washington (19) County Legislators (is the bastion of Liberalism) That’s (one of) the problem(s) defined.

  3. Don’t you just love the way this guy justifies allowing women to murder their children.

  4. Dear All:

    At no point in my op-ed piece did I contend that a mother, in the absence of a medical necessity, should be able to abort a perfectly viable fetus that is capable of surviving outside the womb. That is not a concept I believe in, it is not a concept that I believe the vast majority of Vermonters believe in, and the US Supreme Court didn’t believe in either when it issued Roe v. Wade. When a fetus has reached that point in growth, I believe the State has a “compelling interest” to protect that life and Vermont would be able to make that argument successfully under Proposition 5. Conversely, Vermont would NOT be able to make that argument if H.57 becomes law because a fetus would have no rights whatsoever. H.57 is a bill that I remain steadfastly opposed to.

    And yes, I am also quite cognizant that the same “shall not be infringed” demand being used by the left here is being hypocritically ignored when it comes to gun rights under S.169.

    • Dear Senator Benning.

      I can’t help but wonder if you really expect us to believe what you have just said in your reply. Whether or not H.57 becomes law or not, even if Roe v. Wade is reversed by the US Supreme Court, that will not change the abortion practice in Vermont. PR.5 simply enshrines Vermont law in our constitution. For the past 46 years abortions have been totally unrestricted in Vermont.

      If the purpose of PR.5 is to enshrine Vermont abortion practice into our State Constitution, haven’t you voted for something you say you, most Vermonters and even the authors of Roe opposed? The Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, thanked you for your help with PR.5 and stated that it is a “narrowly crafted proposal” that will “affirm the right to abortion as it currently exists in our state if federal law on the issue changes.” Sounds as if this is contrary to your understanding that PR.5 allows for the argument that once viable the State has a “compelling interest” that would result in success in saving the life of that fetus. How do you explain that?

      Your thinking on this also raises some serious questions that as a lawyer you should understand. Before I ask them, I wanted to clear up a couple of things I notice in your reply. So just to have things accurately stated, the proposed constitutional amendment you voted for is Proposal 5 (Pr.5) and not as you called it Proposition 5. For purposes of this comment I will accept you now know that, and I will refer to it as PR.5 as I did earlier. Also, by definition, the term “viable” fetus means one that can live outside the mother. While you are accurate that most Vermonters would be opposed to aborting a perfect viable fetus and you say you are also, does that make any difference if the law does not protect that fetus? You probably know this, but it’s clear that under current abortion practice as allowed by Vermont law, abortions can occur up until birth with no restrictions. So, how does your belief affect the reality of 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions of viable fetuses if that is so and do they happen in Vermont legally?

      Here are some legal questions raised by your statement about the “arguments” that can be made under PR.5 to preserve the life of a viable fetus.

      1. If the State would have a compelling interest as you say to protect a viable fetus, who is going to make that argument and when would it be made? Would it be a State’s Attorney or the Attorney General’s office, or would the fetus have to hire counsel to represent her? How would that work if the woman is seeking the abortion? Would there be an automatic appeal of the death sentence once the fetus reaches the viable point of growth development? In some death-penalty states, appeals are automatic, and counsel is provided at State expense.

      2. Would the State’s compelling interest argument be made for the fetus by the bringing of a motion for “injunctive relief”. Surely, the impending death of the viable fetus would suffice to show irreparable harm if not granted. Then if granted, what would be the process to expedite the trial and any appeals that would result? Sometimes court matters can take years to resolve. The closer to full-term the fetus gets, the more gruesome is the result if the court rules against the State’s interest to protect the viable fetus. Then there is the question whether the State would have a “likelihood of success on the merits”. If H.57 becomes law or if Beecham v. Leahy remains good law, would not the State fail in its burden here?

      3. Could the problems in 2 above cause the law to develop that would allow the State to bring a declaratory judgement on the issue? Because the child is still alive and is not in immediate danger of abortion, would there be no case and controversy at this point in the filing? When that time comes, how fast would the process work to get a proper adjudication?

      4. Since you apparently played some important part in the development of the language in PR.5, is it your understanding that the “compelling State interest” to protect the viable fetus, was made a part of PR.5? Does PR.5 reverse Beecham v. Leahy that allows for unrestricted abortions at any point before delivery?

      5. If under current law, the fetus has no rights, does PR.5 create them? You mentioned that under H.57 the viable fetus has no rights that could be argued but with PR.5 she does. So, if currently a viable fetus has no rights, and under a H.57 law she would have none, but under PR.5 there would be successful arguments to preserve her life, does PR.5 create those rights? If an abortionist does an abortion on a viable fetus, can he be charged with an unlawful killing under criminal law, either murder or manslaughter if PR.5 is added to the State Constitution?

      6. Is a viable fetus a human? If not, what is it? When does it become human? If the viable fetus is human, what Constitutional rights does she possess? Why didn’t you just include in the amendment simple words that would have clearly and cleanly declared that the life of a viable fetus shall not be terminated with all other due considerations also being noted. What exactly does “personal reproductive autonomy” mean for a viable fetus?
      I look forward to your thinking.

  5. AL (just did) and some other states passed laws stating no abortion after a heart beat is detected. But allows certain health issues relative to both in extreme cases. Seems like rational to me.

  6. The development of the zygote into an embryo proceeds through specific recognizable stages of blastula, gastrula, and organogenesis. The blastula stage typically features a fluid-filled cavity, the blastocoel, surrounded by a sphere or sheet of cells, also called blastomeres. The embryo of a placental mammal is defined as the organism between the first division of the zygote (a fertilized ovum) until it becomes a fetus. An ovum is fertilized in a fallopian tube through which it travels into the uterus. In humans, the embryo is defined as the product of conception after it is implanted in the uterus wall through the eighth week of development. An embryo is called a fetus at a more advanced stage of development and up until birth or hatching. In humans, this is from the eighth week of gestation. During gastrulation the cells of the blastula undergo coordinated processes of cell division, invasion, and/or migration to form two (diploblastic) or three (triploblastic) tissue layers. In triploblastic organisms, the three germ layers are called endoderm, ectoderm, and mesoderm. The position and arrangement of the germ layers are highly species-specific, however, depending on the type of embryo produced. In vertebrates, a special population of embryonic cells called the neural crest has been proposed as a “fourth germ layer”, and is thought to have been an important novelty in the evolution of head structures. The endoderm forms: the stomach, the colon, the liver, the pancreas, the urinary bladder, the lining of the urethra, the epithelial parts of trachea, the lungs, the pharynx, the thyroid, the parathyroid, and the intestines. The mesoderm forms: skeletal muscle, the skeleton, the dermis of skin, connective tissue, the urogenital system, the heart, blood (lymph cells), the kidney, and the spleen. The ectoderm forms: the central nervous system, the lens of the eye, cranial and sensory, the ganglia and nerves, pigment cells, head connective tissues, the epidermis, hair, and mammary glands.

    But let’s just enshrine the right to kill it by VT Constitutional Amendment you say? Shame on you, Joe.

  7. “All of us have the right to make decisions about our own life’s course.” It sure doesn’t protect the rights of a fully formed baby to have that right. Those who are voting for Prop. 5 should be FORCED to view an abortion via ultrasound and view remains of abortions happening at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months and 9 months. We need a law that states they need to view this prior to any votes regarding abortion so they can stop comforting themselves with Planned Parenthood’s false narratives. I DARE them. Then come back to us and tell us this is okay.

  8. Sen. Benning desperately wants a privacy amendment added to the Vermont Constitution, but his vision of Proposal 5 as a privacy amendment is a mirage. Proposal 5 is an abortion amendment, which should have been clear to him when Sen. Ginny Lyons, a sponsor of Pr. 5 and the reporter of the proposal in the Senate stated:

    “Some states have constitutional amendments or laws that rely on privacy as the basis for
    reproductive liberty. (Alaska, Calif., Fla, Montana)When Roe v Wade falls,
    those provisions may be called into question. This is one reason the Senate
    Health and Welfare committee did not use privacy as a basis for our proposal.”

    This is not a privacy proposal – and all Sen. Benning’s pontificating cannot make it so.

    • The more I read these comments, it seems Mr. Benning is not as intelligent as I thought he was, sadly.

      • No he is not. He is a charmer for many not in the know. At least he thinks he is. He can hide from the truth only so long. Hope it’s “Bye Bye Joey in 2020” Let’s get a real Republican in his place!

        • Bob, I’m not sure there are many real Republicans left in Vermont. There seems to be plenty of RINOS

  9. I though Senator Benning was an attorney? Hasn’t he read Roe v Wade, the Supreme law of the land on the subject? He writes: “All of us have the right to make decisions about our own life’s course. Absent a compelling state interest, that right should never be infringed upon.” Roe specifically ruled that state’s DO have a compelling interest to protect babies once viable. Mr. Benning denies those babies the “right to make decisions about their life’s course,” unless they can first win his recognition as humans be successfully squeezing their head through the birth canal — like illegal children squeezing under a border fence. Until then, their rights are continuously infringed upon. I love Senator Benning’s extremism, and profound ignorance — he and his fellow Democrats are paving a blacktop path to the US Supreme Court, whose rulings will part this nonsense infanticide “legislation” the way vegetable oil cuts foam in a maple syrup boil (another Vermont tradition).

    • Nicely stated. John!
      When circuitous meanderings are offered by our legislators as a substitute for sound principles I am glad you were able to offer the “foam cutting vegetable oil”!

  10. Those are lofty quotes Senator Benning has selected to justify his yes vole on Proposition 5. Seems he chose to overlook or forgot to refer to a rather important concept and for that mater existing law, murder last time I looked is flat out ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!

  11. It’s very interesting that progressive lawmakers would choose these words, ” shall not be denied or infringed”. Since when did liberal/progressives pay attention to “shall not be infringed”? This is a hypocritical use of words This is also more panic law making as a result of President Trumps conservative court appointments. More Donald Trump Syndrome than actual need.

    During the next hearing, evidence in the form of a video showing a late term abortion should be required viewing before any votes are taken. There should be a compelling state interest to witness what they are advocating. This is only one third of the current madness under the dome. Add reparations for slavery while whitewashing more constitutional language by removing any historical reference to slaves and last the current indoctrination of the climate change religious warriors.As the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid but as a solution you can vote it out of office.

    The media censorship will be heavy on this just as it was on the California Federal Judge who overturned their state ban on (standard size magazines) high capacity magazines. Did VTDigger or WCAX or any VT newspaper carry that important story? Senator Benning is another out of state implant and quotes historical language to support his decision and vote. While he has been mostly a reasoned voice in the past. Only two republicans had the courage to vote against this travesty, Senator Benning’s talk of freedom to choose didn’t include a voice for the child about to be killed.

    a

  12. Senator Joe Benning is well known for drawing on past words from famous people to justify the errors of his thoughts and votes. Revisit Benning saying in a vtdigger op-ed on H.57 that “…as we contemplate two new abortion bills, which I find myself completely opposed to. These abortion bills, H.57 and S.25…”

    Any civilized human should be opposed to such a radical abortion bill and he said he was. This gruesome proposed law, one that even barbaric nations do not allow, would permit any abortion, even a third trimester one, that is opposed by 80% of the population, to be done to a full-term, perfectly healthy baby just seconds before delivery, even with no threat to the health or life of the mother, on any female (even a minor with no parental consent or notification), performed by anyone (MD not necessary) and done anywhere with no restrictions at all. Then consider his misapplied thinking here in voting for the PR.5 constitutional amendment that would allow what he was against before he was for it. Quite hypocritical, wouldn’t you think?

    Senator Benning was called out for special thanks by Senator Lyons for the Democrats for his help on PR.5 and with his affirmative vote, regardless of how he explains it, he has just voted to enshrine all that is H.57 and current Vermont abortion practice into our Constitution that would cause our liberty & freedom seeking founders to turn in their graves.

    Why is that hypocritical? Seems obvious! Consider this: The Senate PR.5 vote as explained by Ginny Lyons, that you can read in the Senate Journal, clearly indicates that PR.5 “adopts current abortion practice in Vermont” and as the Democrats argued when passing H.57 in the House, “that bill does not change current abortion practice in Vermont”. It was also reported in vtdigger that Senator Lyons (D), as chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said “the amendment is a ‘narrowly crafted proposal’ that will ‘affirm the right to abortion as it currently exists in our state in the event that federal law on the issue changes.”

    So, if that is true, and it seems to be, if a media watchdog would do a political fact check on this, they would Rule that Joe Benning’s statement about being opposed to H.57 would be “TOTALLY FALSE”.
    Bet if Thomas Jefferson or Ethan Allen were around and read his op-ed drivel, they would toss this phony Republican’s twaddling into the waste basket where it belongs.

  13. Again, I thought Joe had more common sense or is he just playing the odds, that would be my
    guess !!….. Pretty Sad.

    I didn’t need a history lesson about Vermont and it’s values, to know that Proposal 5, is nothing
    more than an agenda-driven proposal and values we’ve lost.

    In today’s world, if you don’t ” want children ” that’s your choice and very easy to obtain, today
    you sustain from intercourse ( not likely ) then there are all sorts of precaution that can be taken before and after this endeavor !!

    But to carry a child to term and then decide to ” Abort ” is the most disgusting thing I have heard
    in my life, those legislators that support this proposal need to be taken to task !!

    If you don’t want kids that’s your choice, so keep your pants on or go get sterilized or take one of
    the hundreds of products on the market to prevent pregnancy, those are all your choices as an adult
    so give an unborn child that same choice……one day !!

    No need to change the VT Constitution for an agenda.

  14. Turning the “corner” aren’t you Joe??? A casual fling between the sheets and BOOM all of a sudden there’s a “little problem” Abortion especially from a bad decision, has no place in State Constitution.

  15. Its all about equal rights, the 14th Amendment. Sorry, your lyrics just don’t cut it. Women don’t get a carve-out to choose to kill and, God willing, this great country of ours will be put to the test once again when Roe is overturned. Its always been about enabling for the vote.

  16. “A woman’s right to choose…”

    Senator, what you must remember is that the woman makes that choice at the moment she decides to have sex. That’s the decision point right there. That’s the “choice.” If she decided to have sex, then she decided she is ready to have a child.

    You don’t jump off a diving board, then decide in mid-arc that the water is too cold or too deep, and elect not to complete the dive. No. Instead, you don’t get on the diving board to begin with.

    My awesome daughter was born 7 weeks early; when I look at her, and think about how some people think it’s OK to still abort a life like hers and beyond, I literally puke.

    DO NOT feed into this liberal upheaval!!

  17. “An individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course”? Maybe so. However, herein lies, what I believe to be the profound, difference between proponents of prop 5 and those in opposition,…science has proven an unborn child IS an “individual”. This unborn individual’s rights should be protected also. Sen. Benning, you stated your reasons for voting in favor of prop 5, one being, “it preserves a balancing test between a woman’s right to privacy and a state’s interest in protecting a viable fetus.” I see no balance in prop 5., nothing at all where the life of the unborn individual is even remotely protected at any period of gestation! Your cunning defense of prop. 5 is an attempt to defend murder in the 1st degree.

  18. Senator Benning, your entertaining tales of Vermont’s colorful ancestors, and neatly sanitized high minded phrases about privacy, in your cinematic portrayal, leave the fully formed body parts of the third trimester aborted child on the cutting room floor ( pun intended). All of the similarly high minded Senators should be forced to be present to watch the crushing and dismemberment of the living child before being granted the privilege of voting from their well upholstered Execution (Legislative) Chamber. Have a nice day.

  19. Senator Joe Benning is well known for drawing on past words from famous people to justify the errors of his thoughts and votes. Revisit Benning saying in an op-ed on H.57 that “…as we contemplate two new abortion bills, which I find myself completely opposed to. These abortion bills, H.57 and S.25…” https://vtdigger.org/2019/02/05/joe-benning-the-abortion-debate/. Any civilized human should be opposed to such a radical abortion bill and he said he was. This gruesome proposed law, one that even barbaric nations do not allow, would permit any abortion, even a third trimester one, that is opposed by 80% of the population, to be done to a full-term, perfectly healthy baby just seconds before delivery, even with no threat to the health or life of the mother, on any female (even a minor with no parental consent or notification), performed by anyone (MD not necessary) and done anywhere with no restrictions at all.

    Then consider his misapplied thinking here in voting for the PR.5 constitutional amendment that would allow what he was against before he was for it. Quite hypocritical, wouldn’t you think?

    Senator Benning was called out for special thanks by Senator Lyons for the Democrats for his help on PR.5 and with his affirmative vote, regardless of how he explains it, he has just voted to enshrine all that is H.57 and current Vermont abortion practice into our Constitution that would cause our liberty & freedom seeking founders to turn in their graves.

    Why is that hypocritical? Seems obvious! Consider this: The Senate PR.5 vote as explained by Ginny Lyons, that you can read in the Senate Journal, clearly indicates that PR.5 adopts current abortion practice in Vermont and as the Democrats argued when passing H.57 in the House, that bill does not change current abortion practice in Vermont. It was also reported in vtdigger that Senator Lyons (D), as chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said “the amendment is a ‘narrowly crafted proposal’ that will ‘affirm the right to abortion as it currently exists in our state in the event that federal law on the issue changes.” https://vtdigger.org/2019/04/04/senate-oks-abortion-rights-constitutional-amendment/

    So, if that is true, and it seems to be, if a media watchdog would do a political fact check on this, they would Rule that Joe Benning’s statement about being opposed to H.57 would be “TOTALLY FALSE”.

    Bet if Thomas Jefferson or Ethan Allen were around and read his op-ed drivel, they would toss this phony Republican’s twaddling into the waste basket where it belongs.

  20. Sounds like this senator has embrace collectivist thinking “Absent a compelling state interest …” The state’s top purpose is not to secure its “interests”, but rather to use its only tool, which if force, to defend life, liberty, property, freedom to explore and express ideas …

    Very foolish. It is too bad that most of those who take up the mantle of making the rules die before they ever feel or see the foolishness of and carnage from the rules they make. I suspect Senator Benning will be among that group. A future generation will feel the feedback and have to work to fix his mistakes and recover from the destruction.

  21. Got to give you credit for speaking out about your vote. Kudo’s there, but that’s about it.

    However, the logic used and the upcoming changes in the constitution are a shell game and you have fallen for the progressive trap. Our current crop of Montpelier legislators messing with our constitution can only mean serious trouble, and many attempts to us language and law to further the socialist conversion of Vermont. To not be aware of this if frightening.

    By this declaration, women must not have viable life within them. By this logic the state and men can immediately be set free of paying ANY support for women who choose to have a baby outside of a stable family, it is only the woman who determines it is a child upon leaving her, since solely her choice, solely her responsibility.

    In Vermont girls can get a abortion without their parents knowing, but they can’t see a movie about abortion because they are too young…..the movie Unplanned. Our press (company excluded) is massively censoring any decent arguments against the abortion bill.

    Vermont is really good a arguing for something people want, free this, free that, I”m not responsible for my actions, etc. Finding the truth we’re not so good at.

    Sad to see you supporting this absolute garbage of bill that defies all logic and life.

    Not dealing with logic or life, you just wouldn’t understand.

  22. This language might attract some evil doctor, group or other practicioner to come to Vermont to do those awful type of abortions, such as the Southern Gov/doctor described. An unwelcome new industry, for sure!!
    Rep/doctor Till reports no such (hideous) abortions are done by any doctor in Vt. True!!
    There is no discussion in this wording of whether, morning after, first trimester, Second, third, partial birth, baby on the table – All of this could be supported Equally – without distinction.
    Lots of couples desperate to adopt a baby – that the birth mother who cannot, or wishes not to support and raise.

    Otherwise, I greatly appreciate efforts by Sen. Benning !!

    • Thanks Doug for the reply.
      I just wish there was someone with a balanced conservative approach to VT politics that would rise up and constantly prod, push and drag citizens towards the center strongly promoting some sense of fiscal and moral responsibility.
      Gov. Scott tried, but is not charismatic enough to pull people in behind him.
      I was hoping that Benning would be that person. My disappointment is that he is not, which probably has more to do with my expectations than the reality of Benning.

  23. Joe, your position on this is ill-advised for a number of reasons.
    1. The language in the bill is way too general to limit some lawyer eventually successfully representing the client that aborted a fetus ONE minute before it would have taken a breath.
    And you can live with that?
    2. You have succumbed to the ginned up “urgency” the socialist Dems have created out of whole cloth. Should Roe v Wade be challenged to be changed in some negative way in your view, there would be plenty of time for the legislature to address the issue and be much more specific in it’s address.
    3. You are in a unique position to create and lead an alternative politic to the Socialist Dem society Bernie , Kanin, Shumlin and their minions have insinuated in Vermont. However, instead of taking the lead, you, for some unknown reason, have taken Governor Scott’s approach of conciliation.
    You could have done it, but now I believe your time has passed you by. Maybe you didn’t have the commitment, desire or energy. If this is true I cannot fault you, but really, who the hell else, 8s there right now? Unfortunately, no one!

    • The Senator cuts the throat of his own argument when he protests that “EVERY Vermonter should be able to determine their own life course.” Yes, indeed they should…. If your heart is beating and you reside in Vermont you’re a Vermonter. “This truth should be held to be self evident.” We need more born-in-Vermont “Vermonters.”

  24. With the activist nature of Vermont’s Courts, especially its Supreme Court; it is all but impossible to guarantee the consequences of the language of Proposal 5:

    “That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course, and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

    The Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood advocates have taken advantage of the Democratic Party’s current veto-proof majority status to corrupt our State Constitution based solely on the premise that President Trump’s SCOTUS appointees will not only reverse Roe v. Wade but will make further rulings which will negate the longstanding principle of “state’s rights” and somehow outlaw abortion practices nationwide – an unfounded premise !

    This proposed amendment to Vermont’s Constitution is unnecessary and potentially injurious to the rights of all Vermonters.

Comments are closed.