By Caroline Kelly
Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott intends to allow a comprehensive abortion rights bill to become law, as other states led by Republican governors across the nation work to restrict the procedure.
Bill H.57, which passed both thestate House and Senate earlier this year, would "recognize as a fundamental right the freedom of reproductive choice" and "prohibit public entities from interfering with or restricting the right of an individual to terminate the individual's pregnancy." The measure would also protect "rights to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization or to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child, or to obtain an abortion." Vermont -- where both state house chambers are controlled by Democrats -- currently does not restrict abortion.
Scott's communications director, Rebecca Kelley, did not indicate whether the governor would sign the bill, but said that he will not veto it -- effectively allowing the bill to become law, as it will automatically if he does not act on the bill within five days.
"The Governor is and has been pro-choice and believes in a woman's right to choose, so he has ruled out vetoing the bill -- it will become law," she wrote in an email.