Vermont, Illinois Governors Sign Extreme Abortion Rights Laws

Laws go beyond controversial New York statute

The governors of Vermont and Illinois this week signed into law the nation’s most extreme abortion bills to date, eclipsing the permissiveness of the New York law that was passed earlier this year.

Vermont’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Monday signed what is described as a “no-limits” law on abortion up until birth, giving women “a fundamental right to abortion” with unlimited and essentially unregulated procedures, making it the nation’s most permissive abortion law.

Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed a law on Wednesday that comes very close to Vermont’s, allowing the killing of unborn babies with no meaningful restrictions up until birth.

Franklin Graham has criticized both laws, but on Friday he focused on Vermont, where he recently held prayer and evangelistic meetings.

“This week Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott shamelessly signed a no-limits abortion bill into law,” Franklin wrote on Facebook. “To put it bluntly, this law enables murder. A policy analyst said that ‘H.57 goes beyond Roe v. Wade and may well be the most radical anti-life law in the nation.’ One day these governors and legislators that are protecting and promoting the killing of children in their mothers’ wombs will stand before the Author of life, and I believe God will ask them why.”

Vermont Right to Life’s Mary Hahn Beerworth said in a statement: “By putting his signature on H. 57, Governor Phil Scott endorses unlimited, unregulated abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. His signature signals his preference for protecting the business of abortion over other life-affirming options in Vermont statutes.”

Also, the law gives abortion businesses the right to sue the state if they are not allowed to open new facilities.

The Illinois law, meanwhile, has a broadly defined “health of the mother” requirement after viability—around 24 weeks—that critics say is effectively meaningless.

In signing the Illinois bill, Pritzker kept a promise that he would give Illinois the nation’s “most progressive” abortion laws.

Like Vermont, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act says women have a “fundamental right” to abortion. It also explicitly states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state.”