Vermont’s Anti-Abortion Movement Just Acknowledged It Can’t Win

The Vermont Right to Life Committee, which has led the losing battle against abortion in our state for decades, is strangely absent from the campaign over Article 22.

Or so it would seem.

In a tacit acknowledgment that their brand is irredeemably tainted, anti-abortion activists have gone under cover. They’ve created a new group with the anodyne monicker of Vermonters for Good Government Action to lead the fight against Article 22. They’ve adopted rhetoric that never expresses blanket opposition to abortion. No fetus pictures, nothing whatsoever about life beginning at conception, no screaming about The Abortion Industry.

Because hey, who could possibly oppose Good Government Action?

But look at who’s funding this thing: ultraconservative donor Lenore Broughton has dropped a cool $100,000, ardent prolife donor Carol Breuer gave $50,000, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington, which long ago forfeited any claim to moral superiority, kicked in another 50 G’s. The rest of the human race donated a total of $14,039.

Also, there on the “Treasurer” line of VGGA’s campaign finance filing is the name “Sharon Toborg,” who is merely the second most prominent (behind Mary Beerworth) anti-abortion activist in Vermont and a stalwart leader of Vermont Right to Life.

The one to watch is Broughton, who once spent more than a million bucks in a futile bid to swing the 2012 election for the Republicans. She could top that figure easily. I think we should expect that she will.

The problem with Broughton’s backing is, well, it’s kind of a curse.

In a decade-plus of pouring money into the Vermont conservative movement, she has never managed to win anything of substance. Her one-woman 2012 organization “Vermonters First” failed to move the needle even a little bit. She’s backed conservative candidates for the Legislature with little to show for it. She’s one of the staunchest backers of that embodiment of futility, the Vermont Republican Party. She never gives to Phil Scott, the guy who actually wins elections. And she continues to pay the freight for the seldom-read True North Reports “news” site.

But I digress. Let’s take a look at what’s NOT on the Vermonters for Good Government Action website.

There is no identification of individuals. There is no blanket opposition to abortion — only to “late-term, anything-goes abortion.” There are, as noted above, no pictures of fetuses or tiny corpses or sad-eyed couples who desperately want to adopt. The phrase “Right to Life” has disappeared. “God” gets shoved in the closet, since even the Catholic Diocese itself realizes that its tight-assed interpretation of the Christian faith is a non-starter.

It never even argues against the concept of Article 22.

Instead, it argues that the amendment is vaguely-written and open to unfortunate interpretation and would infringe on the rights of parents and medical professionals. The pages of the VGGA website are strewn with stock photos of moms and kids and ethnically diverse groups.

And lies, lots of lies. My favorite?

“We’re committed to ensuring reproductive freedom is balanced with the concerns of parents, health care workers, and the health of our medical system – Article 22 would prevent that.”

Like hell you’re committed to ensuring reproductive freedom. Like. Hell.

But see, they’re not fanatics doomed to political irrelevance. They’re just concerned people who want Good Government Action.

If the anti-abortion forces can’t win in Kansas despite their best efforts to muddy the referendum waters, they certainly aren’t going to win around here. Their best hope is to put on a smiley-face mask and hope nobody notices the angry sneer beneath.


1 thought on “Vermont’s Anti-Abortion Movement Just Acknowledged It Can’t Win

  1. Walter Carpenter

    “Their best hope is to put on a smiley-face mask and hope nobody notices the angry sneer beneath.”

    Great to put up articles like these to expose who these people are and their shenanigans. The more they are exposed to the sunlight, the better, especially Broughton.


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