Vermont advances amendment to add abortion rights to state's constitution
Vermont state lawmakers on Tuesday voted to advance an amendment that would guarantee the right to get an abortion under the state's constitution.
Why it matters: The amendment will become a ballot measure for state voters to decide whether it actually gets added to the Vermont Constitution. If they support the proposal, it would be the first time that reproductive rights are ingrained in a state constitution.
The big picture: The right to getting an abortion is already protected in Vermont under state law.
- Other states that have codified the right to getting an abortion have done so through state laws added to their legislative codes.
Details: The proposed amendment, which would add a 22nd article to Vermont's constitution's first chapter, would state "[t]hat 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 amendment does not contain the word "abortion," which proponents say is because it's not supposed to just authorize abortion, but also guarantee other reproductive rights, such as the right to get pregnant or have access to contraceptives, AP reports.
Between the lines: The move comes the Supreme Court is considering a case that could overturn or weaken the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed abortion rights in the U.S.