By Mary Hahn Beerworth, Executive Director, Vermont Right to Life
Despite a statewide effort to expose the truth about Planned Parenthood’s push to “enshrine” abortion into the Vermont Constitution, the vote passed in Vermont by a wide margin.
Planned Parenthood used massive financial resources to launch a misleading advertising campaign on all Vermont airwaves. Voters were inundated with false messaging that successfully managed to hoodwink Vermonters into believing that they must support passage.
Thousands of Vermont voters were misled into believing that abortion would become illegal in Vermont unless citizens cast their votes in favor of passage of Proposal 5/Article 22. In the wake of the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade, abortion proponents capitalized on that public fear of losing the right to abortion entirely. Proponents also neatly side-stepped the fact that abortion is already legal in Vermont and has been since 1972.
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the state of Vermont (performing 90% of all abortions) and passage of the amendment now permanently shields their abortion business from any oversight or state limitations at any time throughout all nine months of pregnancy. This is a tragedy for mothers and their babies.
Abortion supporters, like Planned Parenthood, not only raised and spent massive amounts of money, their strategy also included a refusal to participate in debates or forums. A strategy of “the less the voters know the better for our side” ultimately succeeded. On the other hand, opponents of Prop 5 were fully prepared to examine the amendment in depth for greater public understanding – but that never happened.
Furthermore, the Vermont media coverage was unfailingly biased and unbalanced and that added to voter confusion. Most local news coverage only included proponents of the amendment and often even included the abortionist at the University of Vermont Medical Center as a source of “neutral” information.
The Vermont Right to Life Committee is disappointed with the vote total and this loss. However, pro-lifers can expect that our efforts to inform Vermonters about life in the womb and alternatives to abortion will continue undeterred.