LTE: Mary Mayott on Article 22 and late-term abortion

Dear Editor,


The following is information I received in a letter from Rep. Anne Donahue (VT-Washington-1 District), Spokeswomen for Vermonters for Good Government. In it, she says, (in reference to the upcoming Vermont General Election, Nov. 8, 2022), “On Election Day, Article 22 – a radical amendment that will enshrine late-term, anything goes abortion in the Vermont Constitution – will be on the ballot.”

She goes on to say, “This means that abortion right up until the day of the baby’s delivery could become a Constitutional right in Vermont, irreversible by Vermont voters. Who could ever support performing an abortion on a child who is fully developed, capable of feeling pain and of surviving outside the womb? A child who may be hours away from being delivered into the world – for any reason or for no reason at all… This is inhumane and unacceptable – and yet Vermont voters will be voting on a measure that would make such procedures a Constitutional right.

“Presently, there is virtually endless disinformation being promulgated about this amendment, so voters need to know the truth behind 5 Myths about Article 22.”

First: Some pro-choice voters have mistakenly been led to believe that if they do not vote for Article 22, abortion will become illegal in Vermont, but nothing could be further from the truth. Abortion is legal in Vermont and will remain so if voters say ‘No’ to Article 22. Abortion is already protected in state law, and if a ‘No’ vote prevails, our laws and our Vermont Constitution remains the same.”

Second: “It’s been suggested that pro-choice voters should automatically support Article 22, but it’s clear there’s a huge gulf between what most pro-choice voters want [specifically, the ability to choose an abortion early in pregnancy but set reasonable limits on abortion late in pregnancy] and what Article 22 actually does. Those voters should reject Article 22’s broad sweeping language and vote ‘No.’”

Third: “Article 22 has nothing to do with codifying Roe v. Wade, as some would have you believe. Roe v. Wade created a framework to protect abortion rights during the first trimester, while recognizing the people and their representatives may want to pass health and safety regulations in later trimesters, or limitations on late-term abortions. Article 22 will go far beyond any protections in Roe, to grant an unlimited right to abortion in later trimester, for any or no reason at all. Those who support the Roe framework should vote ‘No,’ rather than enshrine late-term abortion in the Vermont Constitution.”

Fourth: “You may have heard, incorrectly, that Article 22 is needed to protect Vermont from a federal law restricting abortion. But Article 22 won’t be in the U.S. Constitution, but in the Vermont one, if it passes on Election Day. So it limits the laws of Vermont, the Vermont legislation, and the people of Vermont. Because Article 22 ties only the hands of Vermont voters and officials to do what is best for our state, Vermont voters should vote ‘No.’”

Finally: “We’re told that late-term abortions don’t happen in Vermont. You see, right now, many Vermont hospitals have policies that refer women seeking late-term abortions elsewhere. But if Article 22 passes, Vermont hospitals cannot enact such policies; they’d be required to offer late-term abortions – even elective ones. They could also be prevented from enacting policies regarding other reproductive choices – [like] children choosing sterilization [without parental knowledge or notification] to save the environment [and] courts striking down parental notification laws for gender transition surgeries because of Article 22 [for example]. Article 22 proposes to be about “reproductive freedom.” But by enshrining this freedom over other rights, like parental rights or rights of conscience, the common-sense balance is lost.”

Rep. Donahue’s final comments; “…the Constitution is supposed to be a document that protects Vermonters, not one that endangers or coerces them…Together, I know you and I can stop Article 22.”

I, like Rep. Donahue, urge Vermont voters to vote ‘No’ on Article 22.



Mary Mayott

Springfield, Vt.

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