The following statement is from the Vermont Right to Life Committee regarding the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Today the US Supreme Court handed down their decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The 1973 Roe v Wade decision has been overturned and, “the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
The case under consideration, Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involved a Mississippi law banning all abortions over 15 weeks gestational age except in medical emergencies and in the case of severe fetal abnormality.
Constitutional experts on both sides of the debate over abortion have long criticized the Roe decision as having created a right that did not exist and for broadly over reaching their jurisdiction. Those errors have been corrected today.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade has no effect on abortion in Vermont. In Vermont, abortion has been legal since the 1972 Vermont Supreme Court case in Beecham v. Leahy. In 2019, Act 47 created a statute that further protects unlimited, unregulated abortion through all nine months of pregnancy irrespective of the US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs.
“Extremist proponents of abortion rights in Vermont will use the Supreme Court decision to attempt to rally support for passage of Proposal 5/Article 22, stated Mary Hahn Beerworth, Executive Director of Vermont Right to Life. “Proponents must not be allowed to mislead Vermonters into believing that ‘Article 22 is needed,’ or that the amendment simply ‘codifies Roe v. Wade,’ when in fact the amendment far exceeds the holding in Roe.”
Vermont Right to Life urges all journalists in Vermont covering today’s decision to responsibly include in their reports the fact that nothing about today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision changes the legality of abortion in our state. Passage of H. 57, now Act 47, is clear statutory protection of unlimited and unregulated abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.