To The Editor:

In response to last week’s letters to the editor regarding Act H.57, we feel it is important to correct some misconceptions.

H.57 is intended to write into law Vermont’s current medical practices regarding women’s health.

Here are some facts from the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • This law would neither enhance nor restrict current access to abortion in Vermont. It puts into law (codifies) the current status of abortion in Vermont, rather than making a policy change.
  • H.57 does not change by whom or when abortions will be performed, nor change the standard of care. 
  • Vermont law currently is silent on abortion and allows abortion with no restrictions. Despite this, 91.7 percent of all Vermont abortions are performed in the first trimester (12 weeks or less) and only 1.3 percent of Vermont abortions occurred after 21 weeks, which is in the second trimester. The latest data available is from 2016.
  • No abortion providers in Vermont perform elective abortions in the third trimester.
  • Late-term abortion is a social construct introduced to create an image of an elective abortion that happens closer to eight to nine months. Late-term abortion is not a term that is used medically and, in any case, does not happen in Vermont.
  • The Vermont Medical Society supports H.57, as does the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Susan Bauchner, Warren; Jeb Bouchard, Moretown; Eric Brattstrom, Warren; Laura and Duncan Brines, Waitsfield; Carole and Steven Crossman, Warren; Dana Donaldson, Waitsfield; Dana Goss, Waitsfield; Al and Jane Hobart, Fayston; Sharon Kellermann, Warren; Dotty Kyle, Warren; Pamela Lerner, Warren; Stephen Willis, Warren; Pat Folsom, Waitsfield and Stan Woliner, Waitsfield.