The decision to have a safe and legal abortion is under threat. Recently, the state of Alabama ruled to outlaw almost all abortions – including in case of rape or incest. It is one of the chilling indicators of Roe v. Wade’s fragility.
The intent of the new law is to bring it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court in the hope that the newly conservative court will strike Roe v. Wade down.
This ominous action makes it vital that Vermont protect the right of our citizens to uphold access to a safe and legal abortion. The alternative would force women to go back to the old days – of botched abortions, sickness and possibly, death.
Fortunately, the Vermont General Assembly is on the way to inoculating itself against such a dangerous federal retreat. Enshrining abortion rights into Vermont law is the first step. A constitutional amendment (which takes four years to amend) is equally important to protect Vermont women and families.
These two measures have now been approved by the legislature and are on their way to the governor’s desk. We can be proud of Vermont lawmakers, but we cannot ignore the women of Alabama and other anti-abortion states. We must continue to fight to protect women’s rights nationwide, by protecting Roe v. Wade and by electing and appointing pro-choice lawmakers and judges. We must protect this Supreme Court decision step by step. Women’s and children’s health and safety is at stake.
Editor’s Note: Madeline Kunin served as the 77th Governor of Vermont from 1985 until 1991. She also served as United States Ambassador to Switzerland from 1996 to 1999.