(a) Every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization.
(b) Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth to a child, or to have an abortion.
This means a healthy, viable baby could be killed at 8 months, thirty days gestation. It means the abortion could be delayed or done in a manner to permit organ harvesting. It means that a fetus whose brain was sufficiently developed to experience pain could be torn slowly apart in the womb in the most agonizing manner. It would also allow sex-selection abortion and, if it were ever possible to determine, termination to prevent a gay baby from being born.
And what are we to make of this provision?
(c) A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law.
At the very least, it would fully authorize the horrible fetal-part selling practices in which Planned Parenthood was caught engaging (the videos about which have now been validated by a federal court).
It could also permit odious practices beyond abortion, for example creating a free space for germ-line genetic engineering, as recently done in China. And what would prevent fetuses from being maintained in an artificial womb for purposes of experimentation — since they would have no rights, recognized human dignity, or legal status?
Don’t scoff. Experimentation was conducted in the late 60s on living fetuses. One 1968 study — on a 26-week aborted fetus kept alive for five hours in an artificial environment — even received the Foundation Prize Award from the American Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Also note that there are no residency requirements. Since almost every jurisdiction in the world places restrictions on late terminations, Vermont could well become the viable-fetus abortion capital of the world.
The 91 authors of this bill — think about that — want Vermont’s public policy to state explicitly that unborn human life has no value or moral worth that any born person is bound to respect. What are we becoming?