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Vermont votes to protect abortion rights in state constitution

A truck drives by campaign signs opposing and supporting a proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution that would guarantee access to reproductive rights, including abortion, by the side of the road in on Nov. 3, 2022 in Middlesex, Vt.
Wilson Ring
/
AP
A truck drives by campaign signs opposing and supporting a proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution that would guarantee access to reproductive rights, including abortion, by the side of the road in on Nov. 3, 2022 in Middlesex, Vt.

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BURLINGTON, Vt. — In a statewide referendum on Tuesday, Vermonters passed Article 22, the Reproductive Liberty Amendment, according to a call by The Associated Press. The amendment broadly protects "personal reproductive autonomy unless justified by a compelling State interest."

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The amendment adds another layer of protection in Vermont that abortion rights advocates say is necessary in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The right to an abortion is already protected in Vermont under a 2019 state law.

The amendment was largely expected to pass in the left-leaning state. Two consecutive state legislatures approved the proposed amendment before it was added to the ballot. Republican Gov. Phil Scott has also signaled his support for the amendment.

Still, in the leadup to Election Day, anti-abortion groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on canvassing services and ad campaigns to convince Vermonters to vote no. Some critics of the new constitutional amendment said its language is overly broad. Others were concerned that it could allow for late-term abortions.

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    Mikaela Lefrak