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Mixed emotions filled the streets Brattleboro after the leaked documents from the United States Supreme Court that will overturn Roe v. Wade.

BRATTLEBORO — With the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, statements from politicians, nonprofits and protestors are flooding the internet.

The draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito, nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005, and leaked by POLITICO Monday.

Political reactions

Vermont representatives had a strong response to the Supreme Court’s draft opinion. Rep. Peter Welch said, “Reports of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will be the greatest infringement of freedom for women in generations.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy said, “The Supreme Court could send us tumbling backward in time.” Lt. Gov. Molly Gray echoed this sentiment by saying, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, “we are in the fight of our lives across Vermont and this country.”

Gov. Phil Scott added, “I want Vermonters to be assured that this state has prepared for this possibility. Three years ago, we enacted a law that affirms the fundamental rights of all women and ensures reproductive health decisions remain … totally free from government interference.”

Abortion care legislation

According to Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, Prop. 5 — also known as the Reproductive Liberty Amendment — is an amendment to the state’s constitution that, if passed, would guarantee “the right to personal reproductive liberty to all Vermonters.”

It would protect every Vermonter’s rights to abortion care, temporary and permanent birth control, sterilization and pregnancy.

“Regardless of what happens with the Supreme Court,” said Scott, “Vermonters will have the opportunity to solidify this right in November, when Prop. 5 amending Vermont’s constitution is on the ballot.”

Women’s Health Protection Act, which the House already passed, is a federal bill that, as stated in the bill, will protect a person’s ability to decide “whether to continue or end a pregnancy.” It will also protect abortion care.

The senate received this bill on Sept. 27. Welch said, “Congress must codify the right to abortion into law. The House has passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, and the Senate must do so as well.”


Public opinions

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Out in the Open, a nonprofit in Brattleboro that is a rural community for LGBTQIA+ people, believes that this is an important moment for abortion care and trans health care. Access to abortions is a large part of trans health care.

The nonprofit’s statement said, “Overturning Roe and banning trans health care are two heads of the same lethally oppressive monster.”

Sonia Silbert is a resident of Brattleboro. She stood outside her Planned Parenthood this morning, with a small group of people, to show her love and support for the nonprofit.

“It’s pretty horrifying thinking that that’s what our Supreme Court is about to do,” Silbert said. “It makes it feel even more important that Vermont needs to pass Prop. 5 and make sure that abortion access is available, accessible, safe and legal in our state.”

Lia Clarity from Piney Flats, Tenn., is a student at Thomas Aquinas College. She was with a group of students protesting against Planned Parenthood in Brattleboro. The students were praying and singing hymns. Some passers-by cursed at them.

When asked about the Supreme Court’s opinion, Clarity said, “We feel very good about it. We think that the Justices made the right decision, and we hope that they stick with it ... We’re here protesting abortion because we believe that it hurts women and babies.”


Clotilde Cecchi, a senior at the college from Syracuse N.Y., was at the same rally. She said, “I think it’s about time that Roe v. Wade was turned over. Abortion is a really horrible thing that many people believe in because they don’t really realize how damaging it is.”

Kerry Morton, a Brattleboro resident, prays “that God’s will be done.”

At Brattleboro’s Municipal Building, another protest erupted in chants against the Supreme Court’s opinion and in favor of Roe v Wade. Protestors sang and spoke about how the decision will impact them.

Lindy Corman, from Marlboro, said she is protesting because she is “outraged” by the new information from the Supreme Court. “Government has no role in reproductive rights so they should have nothing to do with it.” She thinks this decision will hurt low-income people and people of color.

Susie Webster-Toleno is the minister at United Church of Christ in Westminster West. “I feel like the movement towards removing rights from individuals is a terrifying one. And from my perspective, it’s not one that’s tied into faith at all. ... I believe God’s worldview is much more open,” she said.

Verandah Porsche from Guilford said she had an illegal abortion in 1968. She said, “It was a horror show, a real cloak and dagger act. ... I know what it was like. And I will put my body on the line against that returning to younger women who have no choice.”


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