The recent spike in restrictive abortion laws in states such as Alabama and Georgia has been mostly headed by GOP lawmakers, but one Republican affirmed the right to choose in his state Monday, bringing relief to pro-abortion rights groups.
Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont signed a bill Monday that reinstated that the government could not make any restrictions on abortion in the state.
Vermont has some of the most lax abortion laws in the country. There are zero restrictions on the time of pregnancy where an abortion can occur, and there is no mandated waiting period. In addition, minors don’t need permission from a guardian to get an abortion.
The bill signed on Monday didn’t change any of these laws but did make the current laws stronger against any future government intervention.
“Like many Vermonters, I have consistently supported a woman’s right to choose, which is why today I signed H.57 into law,” Scott said in a statement Monday. He added:
This legislation affirms what is already allowable in Vermont — protecting reproductive rights and ensuring those decisions remain between a woman and her health care provider. I know this issue can be polarizing, so I appreciate the respectful tone and civility from all sides throughout this discussion.
Planned Parenthood supported the passage of the law, saying it was necessary as new resistive state laws could push the fate Roe v. Wade back onto the conservative-majority Supreme Court.
“If Roe is overturned, abortion rights will be determined by the laws of each state. Elected officials in Vermont must take an affirmative stance by passing H.57 to send a clear message to all Vermonters that they stand for the protection and preservation of reproductive rights.” Planned Parenthood wrote on its website.
Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth admitted last month that the aim of the state’s new law was to bring it all the way up to the Supreme Court so they could overturn Roe v. Wade. Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill that would make performing an abortion in the state at any time during a pregnancy punishable by up to 99 years in prison.