To the Editor:

If passed again in the Senate, the citizens of Vermont will get to vote on Proposal 5 in a public referendum on Nov. 8, 2022. Proposal 5 would add language to the Vermont Constitution stating that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course.” 

Here’s the fundamental problem with this proposal to amend the Vermont constitution: our Declaration of Independence has already guaranteed that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Why then, would anyone propose to create an amendment to our state constitution that guarantees rights we already have? 

Could it be that the wording of this proposal is really misleading, and its sponsors intend something entirely different than how it appears on its face?

Historically, constitutional amendments are difficult undertakings meant to bolster, not alter, the foundations of liberty and justice upon which our nation was founded. These amendments have been ratified to correct injustice and to elevate the status of groups of people whose rights had been denied.

For example, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments guarantee the abolition of slavery; that no state shall deprive any person of life or equal protection of the law; and that no citizen shall be denied his or her right to vote. 

Back to the problem with Proposal 5. My rights are guaranteed only insofar as they don’t infringe on the rights and liberty of others. This is simply a matter of common sense and respect for the dignity of all human life. Our laws are intended to protect all persons — regardless of their stage of development or physical characteristics — not destroy them.

And yet, the true intent of Proposal 5 is to remove this protection and enshrine personal freedom, even while denying it to others. Women’s rights, reproductive or otherwise, are not being denied; they are already guaranteed. But Proposal 5 will legalize the killing of pre-born children. 

We must not allow our state to become further entrenched in this evil and the injustice of vehemently championing the rights of some, while denying the rights of others. Defeating Proposal 5 means voting to protect the right to life of the youngest and most defenseless among us.

Martin Green


Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.