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Vt. Bill Would Repeal Invalidated Law Criminalizing Abortion

Vt. Bill Would Repeal Invalidated Law Criminalizing Abortion

February 12, 2014 — Vermont lawmakers are attempting to repeal an unenforced state law that makes it a crime for physicians to perform abortions, the Brattleboro Reformer reports.

Although the law was invalidated by a Vermont Supreme Court decision in 1972 and the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, it remains in state statute. Under the law, doctors who provide abortions can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail.

State Sen. Dick Sears (D) said it is important to officially repeal the law now because "future rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court are really quite frankly up in the air."

The state Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-0 to approve a bill (S 315) that would repeal the law. The full Senate likely will consider the bill later this week, the Reformer reports (Galloway, Vermont Brattleboro Reformer, 2/10).