Pro-Lifers Pack the State House for Public Hearing on H.57 House Human Services Committee Approves Bill (7-3) After Making Only Cosmetic Changes

Shown here, the overflow crowd at the State House streams the hearing on cell phones
Thank you to the pro-lifers who turned out by the hundreds to express their opposition to H.57! Despite the bad weather, so many of you were able to respond to our requests for a large turnout for the public hearing. The media took note of how large the crowd was, and it was very encouraging to pro-life legislators. Rep. Vicki Strong from Albany asked VRLC to relay to our supporters her sincere appreciation. “I want to thank all the hundreds of pro-lifers who came to the public hearing last night,” she said. “It was so touching and so powerful to see so many pro-lifers who have our backs and are praying for us.

Be sure read the accurate and excellent coverage from State House Headliners HERE which notes that those opposed to the Bill outnumbered those in favor by a wide margin

The House Human Services Committee passed the Bill out of their committee today after only making cosmetic changes. After discussion and assurances that it would not change the meaning of the Bill, they removed the line: (c) A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus shall not have independent rights under Vermont law. This is merely a change intended to appear responsive to the strong opposition displayed at the public hearing, but in reality does nothing to protect unborn children, prevent any abortion, or eliminate the possibility of fetal experimentation or research. The change is merely a ploy to make it seem like opponents’ concerns were addressed by the Committee in some way.

Proponents of the Bill are also making deceptive claims about the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, implying that the Act makes all third-trimester abortions illegal in Vermont. It does not. The Act prohibits one specific type of procedure, but does not prohibit other types of abortion procedures from being used at any time during pregnancy. The Committee heard testimony from UVM Medical Center abortionist Dr. Lauren McAfee, who uses the Dilation & Evacuation and Induction Abortion procedures which are used to abort babies in the second and third trimesters. You can read descriptions of these procedures here.

While there is no abortionist who admits to performing elective third-trimester abortions in Vermont, under current law and H.57 if enacted, it would be permissible. Both second and third trimester abortions can result in a live birth. What happens then? The law is silent and would remain so under H.57.

H.57 now moves to the House Judiciary Committee. We anticipate testimony to begin next week. We will continue to send updates as events unfold. Your continued vigilance and support is needed and appreciated. We must continue to be a voice for the voiceless.