Reproductive liberty, slavery amendments formally enrolled in Vermont Constitution

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 12:26 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Constitution has been amended as of Tuesday-- lawmakers and advocates gathered in the House chamber in Montpelier for the official enrollment.

“These two amendments passed in every city and town in the state of Vermont,” Jim Condos, D-Vt. Secretary of State, said to cheers.

Proposal 2 makes clear in Article 1 of Vermont’s Constitution that “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”

Proposal 5, the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, enshrines an individual person’s right to reproductive autonomy as central to a person’s dignity.

It cannot be infringed upon unless there is a compelling state interest.

Tuesday, the governor and lawmakers emphasized the importance of the changes.

“Amending the state Constitution gave Vermonters the right to take action on their fundamental rights, which is pretty meaningful when you really think about it. With these two measures you made your voices heard,” said Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont.

“To be able to say that both passed so resoundingly in Vermont speaks to who we are as a state and how we believe in liberty and freedom and unity,” said Sen. Becca Balint, D-Vt. President Pro Tem.

This is the first time since 2010 that the Vermont Constitution has been changed. That time it was allowing 17-year-olds who would be 18 at the time of the general election the right to vote in the primary.

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