A draft bill in the Vermont House right now declares that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights … under Vermont law.” The bill, H.57, known as the Freedom of Choice Act which has more than 90 co-sponsors including Ann Pugh and Maxine Grad effectively declares “non-personhood” status to all unborn children at any gestational age.
“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 reads, “no State or local law enforcement shall prosecute any individual for inducing, performing, or attempting to induce or perform the individual’s own abortion.”
The bill would bar any government restrictions on abortion, causing many pro-life leaders in Vermont to be up in arms and many have vowed to defeat it. The bill was introduced the same day that New York passed its Reproductive Health Act; the anniversary of the 1973 US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
H.75 was introduced on January 22 and is expected to go to the floor for vote later this year. The full text of the bill can be found here.