LTE: Mary Mor on Article 22

Dear Editor,

I have carefully read the words contained in Article 22: The Personal Reproductive Liberty Amendment on the November ballot in Vermont. After thoughtful consideration and reading commentary of those supporting the amendment and those opposing the amendment, I have decided to vote “No” on its passage.

Following are my reasons: Vermont already has unrestricted access to abortion up to the day of delivery. Abortion is an extremely controversial topic, and regardless of anyone’s views, this was signed into law in Vermont in 2019. I’m not exactly sure why this amendment is even needed. The amendment does not include the words abortion or women. Which brings me to my next reason for a no vote.

Personal Reproductive Liberty: what exactly does that mean? If you ask five people what this means, eliminating abortion, you will get five different responses. Any question around Constitutional language is decided on by the Courts. I have no doubt that the Vermont Courts will be defining that term. Proponents of the amendment state that Article 22 ensures patients and doctors will make health care decisions, not politicians. The legislation on abortion in Vermont already does that for abortion, so Article 22 is not needed. The Courts defining personal reproductive liberty is not exactly what I consider a politician free environment.

The words, ”unless justified by a compelling State interest,” is what concerns me the most. What exactly does that mean? The only example I know of in recent times of regulations on reproductive liberty based on a compelling state interest is China’s one child policy that was in place from 1980-2015 which limited the great majority of family units to one child with some exceptions such as certain ethnic groups. In 2016 the limit was raised to two, and in 2021, to three. I believe this is yet another example of politicians making decisions about your health care.

I encourage voters to read the words of Article 22 carefully and make an informed decision. Words matter.



Mary Mor

Windham, Vt.


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