In its March 15 campaign finance filings, Vermont for Reproductive Liberty, the campaign behind Proposal 5, reported receiving $183,207 in contributions. Proposal 5 would amend the Vermont Constitution to add language protecting the right to personal reproductive autonomy and prohibiting government infringement unless justified by a compelling state interest. Currently, the right to abortion is protected in Vermont statute.
The top donors to the campaign included Planned Parenthood Action Fund ($50,141.70), Sixteen Thirty Fund ($27,800.00), Donna and Jake Carpenter ($25,000), Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund ($20,841.51), and the ACLU ($11,002.00).
Jessica Arons, senior advocacy and policy counsel for reproductive freedom for the ACLU National, said, “The right to abortion in this country is on the line as it’s never been since Roe was first decided. This is the time to show up for the right to reproductive freedom and send the message that we will do whatever we can to ensure that people can get the care they need no matter what.”
The campaign opposing the amendment, Vermont Right to Life, reported receiving $778.65 in contributions. Joanna Ellis-Monaghan contributed the most with $320.
Vermonters for Good Government also opposes Proposal 5. It argues that if the amendment passes, “future generations of voters will be unable to ever start an amendment removal process, it will be out of their control, as amendments must originate in the legislature. As we look around the country, we see changing laws, opinions, and attitudes about this critically important topic.”
In December, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for a case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, challenging court precedent on abortion. The court will announce its decision this summer.
In 2022, there will be at least four ballot measures, including Vermont Proposal 5, addressing abortion—the most since 1986. In Kansas and Kentucky, the ballot measures would declare there is no state constitutional right to abortions. In Montana, a legislative referral would state that “an infant born alive is a legal person” and that present healthcare providers shall provide “all medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the [infant’s] life and health.”
In addition to the four certified ballot measures related to abortion, Ballotpedia is tracking five proposed ballot measures—two citizen-initiatives and three legislative referrals—that voters could decide in Colorado, Michigan, Maryland, and Oklahoma.