Vermonters For Good Government Announces Spokesperson Partnership

Vermonters For Good Government (VFGG) is honored to announce a new partnership.

Representative Anne Donahue joins the effort to help VFGG educate voters about Prop 5/Article 22 issues across Vermont through a variety of mediums over the coming months. VFGG is extremely pleased that one of the most knowledgeable and objective legislators in the Statehouse is providing his unique and credible insights through commentary, interviews, speaking engagements and (hopefully) debates during the coming months.

Representative Anne Donahue has served as a Vermont state legislator since 2003 and currently serves as vice chair of the health care committee and represents Northfield and Berlin. She comes from a multi-generational Vermont family. Anne is well known as a mental health advocate, a passion born from her own experiences with serious mental illness in the 1990s. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and has spent many years working with youth, including leading nationally recognized street outreach programs for runaway and homeless youth in New York and Los Angeles.

Current VFGG spokesperson Annisa Lamberton, who will continue to speak, welcomes the expert “reinforcement”.

“We are thrilled that Rep. Donahue is playing a leadership role in educating Vermonters about the hidden dangers of Section 22. We have a big task ahead of us; many Vermonters are hearing about Section 22 for the first time and have not been told the full story of the implications of a vaguely worded constitutional amendment.

“She has been at the forefront of this process and is eager to fulfill her legislative responsibilities to ensure Vermont voters truly understand what Section 22 will mean to all of us,” Annisa said.

Rep. Donahue was at the heart of things during the legislative phase of the constitutional amendment process in the state house. She repeatedly sounded the alarm about problems stemming from poorly worded legal language. She raised these concerns both within the state house and in public.

In a comment (link for reference ) regarding the Conscience Protection for Medical Workers that was issued statewide in January of this year, Rep. Donahue wrote;

“There should be deep concern about the impact Proposition 5 could have on our state’s hospitals, health care delivery and workforce crisis by undoing these protections.

There are inaccurate perceptions as to the scope and intent of this constitutional amendment,…which describe its purpose as “to protect the abortion rights set forth in the Roe v. Wade decision of the United States Supreme Court United in 1973″.

In fact, the unusual wording of the constitutional amendment would do three essential things:
• It would protect any abortion for any reason up to the time of birth (contrary to the balance of state interests created in Roe for third-trimester pregnancies), likely rendering the abortion policies of any hospital, including care conflict policies.
• It would extend coverage to any health care service related to “’personal reproductive autonomy’”, with no known definition of the scope of this concept.
• It would send any debate about that high bar of what constitutes a “compelling state interest” to the courts of Vermont.

It does not offer a final word, but would instead be subject to a number of future judicial interpretations.

VFGG Executive Director Matthew Strong also praised the new partnership.

“Rep. Donahue’s offer to assist our efforts is a sign of our momentum and we are honored to have her assistance. She has extensive health policy knowledge, extremely important legal training and understanding, and is one of the most cautious thinkers in the Statehouse, nor is she afraid to take positions that might be risky or go against preconceived notions.

“She’s more concerned with the actual ramifications of the bills she votes on than just voting party lines, and that gets to the heart of the matter for us at VFGG,” Matthew said.

If you would like to schedule Representative Anne Donahue (or Annisa Lamberton or Matthew Strong) for a keynote address, Q&A, interview or commentary for all media formats, or moderated public discussion, please contact Matthew Strong via email at [email protected]

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