Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican who favors some restrictions on abortion access, came out in support of a bill introduced Wednesday to protect abortion rights in the state.
The bill, which would protect abortion rights should conservatives on the US Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, was introduced on the house floor by Reps. Ann Pugh (D-South Burlington) and Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), and it has overwhelming support in the Democratic-majority house and state senate. Wednesday marked the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Advocates are relieved that Vermonters will be ensured access to abortion services even if Roe is overturned by the Supreme Court.
“It is pretty wonderful we have a Republican governor whose thinking about abortion rights has been evolving in a really progressive way, in a way we support and celebrate. And we are very pleased that he has come out publicly saying he supports [the pro-choice bill],” Lucy Leriche, a vice president of public policy at Planned Parenthood Northern New England, told Rewire.News.
Abortion rights became a campaign issue for Scott when he ran for governor in 2016. He claimed he was pro-choice but said he would consider supporting bills that required parental notification and restricted later abortion care. That put him in the crosshairs of Planned Parenthoods affiliated PAC, which ran ads campaigning against him in the 2016 race.
Activists said abortion is unlikely to ever be banned in Vermont, but given the conservative makeup of the Supreme Court and the Trump administration’s assault on reproductive rights, a state law codifying abortion protections is the best way to make sure Vermonters will continue to have access to abortion care.
Even in the largely…