The Vermont House voted this evening to pass H57, which would legalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. “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,” the bill states.
The bill was co-sponsored by 90 Democratic legislators and passed by a vote of 106-36.
This legislation is far more radical than the recent expansion of late-term abortion in New York, as well as the proposed expansions in Virginia and Rhode Island. Those bills allow abortion for any reason up to viability and essentially allow for abortion up to birth, creating “health” exceptions that are often loosely interpreted to permit abortion on demand after viability as well.
Rather than crafting health exceptions like these that amount to tacit permission for post-viability abortion, the Vermont bill offers a blanket permission slip for any and all abortion, throughout pregnancy, and for any reason. And not only that, but the bill text contains a provision dehumanizing unborn children: “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law.”
Given how expansive abortion rights already are in Vermont — both as a result of Roe v. Wade and the state’s already lenient abortion laws — this bill likely won’t change much about the practical aspects of abortion access in the state. But it makes a frightening statement about the Democratic party’s increasingly extreme view of abortion rights.
To the left, abortion is no longer a last resort, an option to be prevented, a difficult and sad choice that some women feel forced to make. Abortion is now a fundamental right, a social good so worth preserving that it is necessary to explicitly dehumanize living human beings to justify it.
The legislation is now headed to the state senate, where Democrats have a supermajority.