State Headliners: TJ Donovan guest of honor at Planned Parenthood candidate fundraiser

By Guy Page

Vermont Right to Life is calling out Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan for being the guest of honor at a Planned Parenthood Political Action Committee (PAC) fundraiser in Burlington on Thursday night.

Vermont Secretary of State's Office

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in Vermont, testifying to the Legislature that they perform 90% of the approximately 1,200 abortions performed annually in the state, Vermont Right to Life said.

Planned Parenthood bills the event as “a celebration of state sexual and reproductive champions,” and #1 on the list is Donovan. He will be joined by two assistant attorney generals and State Sen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden) and a Planned Parenthood educator. Tickets go from $10 for high school and college students to a $10,000 block of six for “Champions.” Proceeds will support pro-legal abortion candidates.  The announcement praises Donovan and his assistants for “their dedication to protecting and advancing reproductive justice in Vermont.”

But according to Vermont Right to Life, “justice” has nothing to do with it. In its Oct. 8 press statement, the anti-abortion organization noted “Donovan has repeatedly used his office to promote Planned Parenthood’s agenda and support policies to protect their abortion business,” including:

  • Testifying in support of H.57, which codified unrestricted, unregulated abortion in Vermont statute.
  • Promising to use the resources of the Attorney General’s office to promote passage of Proposal 5, an amendment to enshrine abortion in the Vermont constitution.
  • Securing, along with Gov. Scott, $800,000 in state funding to replace the federal Title X monies refused by Planned Parenthood so they can continue to promote abortion as a method of family planning.
  • Filing suit to rollback federal conscience protections for health care workers who do not want to participate in abortion.

“T.J. Donovan receives the endorsement of Planned Parenthood at election time, promotes policies to protect their business while in office, and is now helping their PAC raise money that may be used to re-elect him Attorney General — or perhaps to another office,” stated Sharon Toborg, policy analyst for the Vermont Right to Life Committee.

Donovan has said he is considering running for governor in 2020. Meanwhile, a St. Johnsbury lawyer, former Vermont Republican legislator, and 2018 Republican nominee for attorney general has said he is considering another run for AG. Janssen Willhoit, a longtime public defender lawyer, had a strong ‘pro-life’ record as a legislator and is opposed to Proposal 5.

Vermont Right to Life also notes — with apparent irony — that Donovan, the chief law enforcement officer of the state, will be honored by an organization whose political arm has a record of campaign finance violations: “In 2014, PPNNE Action Fund paid a $30,000 fine to the state of Vermont to settle a claim that it violated campaign finance laws during the 2010 election.”

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Image courtesy of Vermont Secretary of State's Office