Members of the Vermont Right to Life Committee, and other concerned pro-life Vermonters, attended the public comment portion of the UVMMC Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, September 20th at 2:00pm.
Pro-lifers have stated their objections at two previous meetings of the Board. Several people, including medical professionals, have expressed their objections to the decision to allow elective, late-term abortions – reversing decades of policy that had limited the practice. Objections were also voiced regarding the secrecy surrounding the decision, as most UVMMC employees only discovered the decision by reading the January 27, 2018 front page article in the Burlington Free Press (by reporter Dan D’Ambrosio). Furthermore, three late-term abortionists have been hired by the hospital to perform D& E abortions and to train medical students on the premises.
Here is the language of the petition drive launched by the Vermont Right to Life Committee:
- I oppose the decision of the University of Vermont Medical Center Board of Trustees to re-define “family planning” services to include elective abortions. I am shocked that the same community hospital that so many rely on for life-saving treatment will now engage in the deliberate destruction of innocent, unborn human beings.
- The goodwill generated by the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital in saving the lives of some of the smallest among us cannot overcome the horror experienced by knowledge of the barbaric means now being employed to end the lives of other pre-born babies, even in the latest stages of pregnancy.
- I ask the UVMMC Board of Trustees to reverse their decision on abortion policy and to rebuild community trust in the hospital statement of values to “respect the dignity of all individuals.”
At the June 21, 2018 Board of Trustee’s meeting, Vermont Right to Life’s spokesperson read the petition language and presented 1500 petition signers in a scroll that was about 50 feet in length.
At the September 20th UVMMC Board of Trustees meeting, Cecile Wagner, RN and at-Large Director for Vermont Right to Life, presented an additional 1,000 signatures along with a pledge that the petition drive will continue. Wagner also made the following closing remark:
“Finally, a physician who attended the recent fundraiser for the UVM Children’s Hospital was struck by the fact that a speaker used the quote ‘you can measure a society by how well they care for their most vulnerable.’ By that criteria, this hospital is failing.”
The following comments were presented by Sara Nevin of Northfield:
It is an honor to speak before you today on behalf of those who do not have a voice. I want to express my concern about the Medical Center’s policy on abortion: In my estimation, there is an urgency to find other solutions to an unwanted pregnancy – such as substituting open or closed adoption for abortion in your Family Planning Services, asking if there is a family member willing to help raise the child, providing other creative alternatives – and certainly to accommodate the millions of infertile couples awaiting a child. We witness these successful alternatives every day. In order to have a more vibrant alternative process, you at the Medical Center could greatly increase the number of counselors in your Family Planning Services skilled in expressing these life giving alternatives to prospective parents…..
I have personal experience with adoption as 3 of my 5 sons have been adopted – all adults now with a meaningful understanding of their good fortune. Somewhat embarrassing, one of them recently put his hand on my shoulder and said, “If it weren’t for you and my family, I probably would not be alive today. I certainly would not have graduated from the University of Vermont as a design engineer, gotten a good job, bought a house and contributed to my community as I do each week”. I’m revealing this because as a Board you all have an opportunity to show that children like my adopted sons deserve the respect and dignity that you and I have that allows us to be here today. Thank you!