Scott signs bill that preserves right to an abortion

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill into law that protects a woman's access to abortion services.

Gov. Phil Scott-File photo

Scott, R-Vermont, signed the legislation Monday, saying he has consistently supported a woman's right to choose and "the legislation affirms what is already allowable in Vermont - protecting reproductive rights and ensuring those decisions remain between a woman and her health care provider."

The bill will be among the most expansive abortion rights laws in the country. It will allow for "the fundamental right of every individual who becomes pregnant to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to have an abortion."

His support for the bill comes as some states around the country are seeking to restrict or ban abortions.

There has been some push back on the signing from abortion-rights opponents.

"His signature signals his preference for protecting the business of abortion over other life-affirming options in Vermont statute," said Mary Beerworth with Vermont Right to Life.

But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders praised the decision.

"Today is a great day for Vermont, which is taking serious action to counter the wave of extremist attacks on abortion rights," said Sanders, I-Vermont.

The measure is separate from a proposal to amend the state Constitution to guarantee a woman's right to an abortion.