For Immediate Release
April 1, 2022
Contact: Matthew Strong
Annisa Lamberton, official spokesperson for Vermonters for Good Government, will join a three hour panel discussion on Proposal 5/Article 22, “Madness in the Constitution,” this Saturday, April 2.
Amending the Vermont Constitution is a long and arduous process, taking four affirmative votes in the legislature (two in each chamber) over two biennium followed by a statewide popular vote, which, for Proposal 5, will take place this November. The purpose of all this is to ensure that the public has time to engage and understand what the proposed amendment is all about.
However, Proposal 5’s journey has taken place almost entirely under Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings. It has not received the kind of public scrutiny it needs and deserves. Most Vermonters don’t know what they will be voting on this fall, nor are most aware that they will be casting a vote to change our Constitution at all.
Proposal 5 reads in its entirety:
“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.”
Some key points that Vermonters need to understand regarding Proposal 5 are:
- Although this amendment is being sold as protection for women’s/abortion rights, it does not mention “women”, “abortion”, or “pregnancy.” This is a highly problematic legal “bait and switch.”
- By conferring an equal right to “personal reproductive autonomy” on men as well as women, Proposal 5 could actually undermine a woman’s right to choose to end or carry a pregnancy to term if that decision is in conflict with the biological father’s equally protected right to reproduce. A spokesperson for the ACLU testified that such conflicts would need to be resolved in court. This is a step back for abortion rights.
- The vagueness in the language opens the door to multiple unintended consequences, such as state sanctioned eugenics in the form of genetically modified “designer babies”, rendering unconstitutional age of consent laws (e.g., possibly legalizing pedophilia), and undermining parental rights and responsibilities in regard to their children’s sexual health.
Local public panel discussions like the one taking place this Saturday are critical to have before Vermonters vote in November, or 45 days earlier if they cast an early ballot. Vermonters for Good Government would be happy to partner with local media outlets to further these types of discussions.
If you are interested in working with us, please contact:
Matthew Strong- Executive Director