State Constitutional Amendment Now Essential

If approved by voters in November, Proposition 5 will amend the Vermont Constitution to provide for reproductive autonomy, protecting our pro-choice state law from future repeal attempts.

Opponents portray women seeking abortions as selfish and frivolous, sacrificing babies to avoid minor inconveniences. But the evidence clearly shows that unwanted pregnancies often cause serious damage to mental and physical health, kill education and employment opportunities, undo carefully laid plans and lead to lasting poverty.

It is indisputable that abortion destroys tissues genetically programmed to develop into infants under favorable conditions. But condemning any woman who becomes pregnant to subordinate her own life to the development of a fetus constitutes the enslavement of half of humanity.

If Roe is overturned, after 50 years and several reaffirmations, it will be the first time the Supreme Court has reversed a decision that bolstered privacy and individual liberty. And abortion rights are probably only the first target. The reactionary SCOTUS majority may well decree that rulings legalizing marriage equality, contraception, gay and lesbian relationships, and interracial marriage were also “badly rendered.” The Trump-appointed judges were selected with that outcome in mind.

Clearly, a long struggle for the personal rights of Americans lies ahead, beginning with the preservation of the right to abortion. Fortunately, the Vermonters will likely succeed. We must also do all we can to help the less fortunate victims of the tyranny of the right-wing red state.

Judy Olinick


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