My guiding principle, as a women’s health practitioner for 28 years and as a birthing center nurse for 10 years, was that I trusted women to make informed decisions regarding their own health care.
In November, we will get to vote on the Reproductive Liberty Amendment (Article 22, formerly Prop 5) which would amend the Vermont Constitution to protect every person’s right to make their own reproductive decisions. These are fundamental rights and we need to remove politics from personal health care decisions.
The laws we have now can change as administrations change so it is important to enshrine reproductive rights into our constitution.
The language in this article is very deliberate and is based on case law. It will cover the right to personal reproductive liberty for all Vermonters. The Reproductive Liberty Amendment is about values.
Here is how it reads: “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.”
We need this amendment because important medical decisions should be guided by a patient's health and well-being, not by a politician's beliefs.
When serious medical complications arise during a pregnancy, health care providers need to be able to use the full range of treatment options, including abortion if that's the best course. This amendment ensures patients and their health care providers make health care decisions, not politicians.