Vermont Could Soon Make Abortion a Constitutional Right

Voters in Vermont will decide in November whether to enshrine abortion rights into the state Constitution.

Photo of Vermont capitol building
Around 70 percent of Vermonters support abortion access. Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Vermont could soon become the first state to enshrine the right to abortion directly in the state constitution.

Last week, the Vermont House of Representatives voted to pass the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, or Prop 5.

The proposed language 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.

According to the Washington Post, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) “is required to give public notice before it appears on the ballot in November.” Scott has “signaled his support for the measure,” the Post reported.

And considering that 70 percent of Vermonters support abortion access, Prop 5 is expected to pass.

As the Guttmacher Institute notes, Vermont doesn’t have any of the major abortion restrictions seen in other states. But as we’ve seen in those states, that can change at a whim—especially once the Supreme Court dismantles Roe v. Wade later this year.

But human rights aren’t up for debate. By amending its constitution to reflect this, Vermont is doing what the United States won’t: protecting the right to personal reproductive autonomy.

Good for Vermonters, but what about everyone else? Well, as abortion access becomes increasingly restricted in other parts of the country, Vermont could become a destination for pregnant people forced to seek abortions away from their home state.

But it’s not easy to get there—and pregnant people shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars and travel thousands of miles to get access to health care. So keep following us to keep up with the latest in the ongoing fight for our rights.

This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.