A group of Vermont religious leaders urged lawmakers to pass a state constitutional amendment that would keep abortion on demand legal if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
In a letter to the editor of the Brattleboro Reformer, they argued that abortion — the direct, intentional killing of an unborn baby — is “health care,” and health care is a “basic human need.” Twenty religious leaders representing Christian, Jewish and Buddhist groups signed the letter.
“Health care is a basic human need and central to our liberty and dignity; all individuals should have the right to an equal opportunity to access the highest attainable level of health,” they wrote. “Everyone deserves equal access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion.”
They urged lawmakers to add language to the Vermont Constitution guaranteeing the so-called right to abortion. The proposed amendment states: “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.”
The state Senate is scheduled to vote on the amendment this week, the Vermont Digger reports. To become part of the constitution, the amendment must pass the state legislature in two consecutive sessions and then voters must approve it on the ballot.
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In their letter Monday, the religious leaders said they are worried that the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade and allow abortion to be restricted again.
As faith leaders we feel compelled to take a stand to help protect women’s reproductive freedoms, their decisions about their own health care and their own constitutional rights. If the U.S. Supreme Court, which now leans conservative, overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion, reproductive freedom in Vermont will be threatened. Vermont has an opportunity to stand with women and protect their reproductive liberty by amending our constitution to uphold people’s constitutional rights, including abortion.
Though the Supreme Court does have a Republican-appointed majority, the justices seem hesitant to take up any controversial abortion cases. For more than six months, they have delayed making a decision about whether to even consider a Mississippi law that bans abortions on unborn babies after 15 weeks.
But abortion activists continue to stoke fears about the future as they push for their increasingly radical pro-abortion agenda.
In Vermont, abortions are legal up to birth, and the religious leaders want it to stay that way.
“Every human is born equal. Women, like men, should be trusted to make their own decisions,” they wrote. “Abortion access is a social justice value and is something that should be decided by one’s individual conscience, not the Government.”
They argued that abortion is about allowing women to make their own “ethical and moral decisions,” and cited a poll that appears to show that most religious Americans agree.
But polls by Gallup, Marist and other reputable polling groups consistently show that most Americans support strong limits on the killing of unborn babies in abortions. A January Marist poll found that 76 percent of Americans support limits on abortion, including many who identify as pro-choice. Similarly, a July Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans want all or almost all abortions to be prohibited.
Unlike the religious leaders who signed the letter, most Americans recognize that the government does have a responsibility to prohibit unethical actions, including the killing of an innocent unborn child.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Vermont senators and urge them to oppose this pro-abortion bill.