Vermont made history last year when voters overwhelmingly approved the Reproductive Liberty Amendment on November 8, 2022, enshrining the strongest possible reproductive liberty protections in our state constitution. Following the fall of Roe v. Wade and in the face of mounting nationwide threats to reproductive care, the amendment won a majority of votes in every single town and city, with 77% of voters supporting the RLA statewide.
We will never stop fighting for the freedom to fully control our bodies, lives, and futures. In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the RLA victory, we invite you to take the next step in securing our right to bodily autonomy—by pledging to support trans rights.
Here’s why: The same politicians restricting our right to access abortion and birth control are attacking the rights of LGBTQIA+ people to lead lives with dignity and respect. This year alone, more than 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, including here in Vermont. Trans kids have been the target of much of the legislation, including attacks on their right to play sports with their friends, access life-saving health care, and be treated with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
Trans rights are not up for debate. Take action today by pledging to support trans rights and as a thank you, we will mail you a sticker commemorating the passage of the RLA—because the fight for bodily autonomy is deeply connected to our fight for reproductive freedom.
A quick refresher: What is the Reproductive Liberty Amendment?
The Reproductive Liberty Amendment, also known as Article 22, secures our right to decide whether and when to become pregnant, use temporary or permanent birth control, or seek abortion care. With language that requires the courts to apply what’s called a “strict scrutiny test” to proposed restrictions on our rights by future state leaders, the amendment offers our best chance at preserving the reproductive liberty we rely on today.
Beginning in 2018, the ACLU and our allies worked to design and pass this state constitutional amendment protecting reproductive freedom in Vermont. When Roe was overturned, the RLA had already passed through the legislature—twice, over the course of four years—so that it could go before voters during the 2022 General Election.
What else have Vermont lawmakers done to protect our bodily autonomy?
In 2023, lawmakers and advocates once again endeavored to advance critical legislation to protect the rights of patients and providers who engage in legally protected health care services across state lines. Dubbed “shield laws,” H.89 and S.37 are a pair of bills that lawmakers passed, and Governor Scott signed into law last spring. They include key protections for providers offering reproductive or gender-affirming care—in compliance with existing professional standards and expectations for licensed medical providers—to patients who have traveled to Vermont from out of state.
In passing H.89 and S.37, state leaders once again confirmed that Vermont aims to be a safe haven for people administering and receiving essential health care services, no matter any attempts made by politicians in other states to strip away our fundamental right to bodily autonomy. Shield laws protect providers from abusive civil litigation and criminal investigation by out of state officials, add additional legal protections to the health records of patients who access care in Vermont, and ensure that providers cannot face retaliation from insurance companies or professional organizations for offering legally protected health care services.
What comes next, and how can you help?
The fight to protect our bodily autonomy continues, and our colleagues across the country are on the front lines—whether defending the right to use birth control or access gender-affirming care before the Supreme Court, or engaging in similar fights unfolding in dozens of state legislatures. To support this critical work, consider the following:
- Pledge to support trans rights in Vermont (and receive a sticker commemorating the one-year anniversary of the RLA!)
- Send a message to our U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative urging that Congress defend reproductive freedom and protect trans health care.
- Donate to the ACLU or other reproductive justice, gender justice, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy or direct service organizations so that our communities can maintain or regain access to life-saving medical care, essential community support, and free legal representation.
- Join our action team to connect with unique advocacy opportunities here in Vermont across a range of civil rights and civil liberties issues.