“It’s been hard, emotional & frightening:” Judiciary Chair Rep. Maxine Grad on tackling guns, abortion & sexual abuse

This year, the Vermont House Judiciary Committee passed legislation on a number of national hotbutton issues. This included passing the strongest abortion rights law in the country, enacting a 24-hour waiting period for handgun purchases and removing the time limit for victims of child sexual abuse to bring claims against their abusers. Democratic Rep. Maxine Grad is the chair of the Vermont House Judiciary Committee. This is Grad’s 19th year representing the Mad River Valley towns of Waitsfield, Duxbury, Fayston, Warren and Moretown. This year saw her featured in a NY Times article about Vermont’s landmark abortion rights law. Grad discusses the challenge of confronting tough issues  and her priorities going forward. (June 5, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Maxine Grad, chair, Vermont House Judiciary Committee

Women “have the right to have an abortion:” Vt Rep. Ann Pugh & Sen. Ginny Lyons on new protections for women and families

Rep. Ann Pugh, chair of the Vermont House Committee on Human Services, was recently featured in the New York Times discussing Vermont’s historic abortion rights legislation, which she co-sonsored. Sen. Ginny Lyons, chair of the Vt. Senate Committee on Health and Welfare, is a sponsor of a proposed amendment to the Vermont constitution protecting abortion rights. These two measures offer the strongest protection of abortion rights in the US. The two legislative leaders discuss abortion rights, child care and other new protections for women and families, as well as the political stalemate that ended the 2019 legislative session. (May 29, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Ann Pugh, chair, Vermont House Committee on Human Services

Sen. Ginny Lyons, chair, Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare

 

“We trust women:” Sen. Becca Balint on Vermont’s historic abortion rights law

In the final days of the 2019 legislative session, the Vermont Legislature passed the most sweeping reproductive rights protections of any state in the country. Gov. Phil Scott has indicated that he will allow the law to stand. This has occurred against a backdrop of other states including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri effectively banning abortion. Vermont Senate Majority Leader Sen. Becca Balint (D-Windham) talks about what she considers to be one of the proudest moments of her legislative career. “We trust women to make decisions about their health care,” she said. “It’s radical notion right now to think that women should have full control over their bodies.” Balint also weighs in on why the legislature has struggled to pass a $15 minimum wage, and her response to climate activists who were arrested in the State House over what they charged was inaction on climate change. Includes longer version of interview than aired on WDEV. (May 22, 2019 broadcast)

Senator Becca Balint, Vermont Senate Majority Leader

Can a woman be jailed for a miscarriage?

Does a fetus have the same rights as a person? That’s at the heart of new laws that are resulting in the prosecution of pregnant women and women who have miscarriages. According to a remarkable 8-part editorial series in the New York Times, “Women who fell down the stairswho ate a poppy seed bagel and failed a drug test or who took legal drugs during pregnancy — drugs prescribed by their doctors — all have been accused of endangering their children… Such cases illuminate a deep shift in American society…toward the embrace of a relatively new concept: that a fetus in the womb has the same rights as a fully formed person.” Lynn Paltrow, founder and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, discusses the national landscape of laws that she argues are aimed at restricting and eliminating women’s rights. (February 27, 2017 broadcast)

Lynn Paltrow, executive director, National Advocates for Pregnant Women

The fight to keep abortion legal in Vt: House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski

The Vermont House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.57, a bill guaranteeing a woman’s right to a safe & legal abortion regardless of laws restricting abortion that the Supreme Court or Trump administration may pass.  A lead sponsor of this bill is Rep. Jill Krowinski, the House Majority Leader. Krowinski has served in the House representing Burlington since 2012. For nearly eight years she worked at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, most recently as the Vice President of Education and VT Community Affairs. Krowinski, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She was recently named executive director of Emerge Vermont. Rep. Krowinski discusses why protecting women’s right to choose has been a passion for her, how she came into politics, encouraging women to run for office, and her political future. (February 27, 2017 broadcast)

Rep. Jill Krowinski, House Majority Leader

Vermont before and after Roe v. Wade, 2/20/2013

Forty years after the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade that legalized abortion, we look at abortion in Vermont before and after legalization. We speak with Dr. Emma Ottolenghi, a founding physician for the Vermont Women’s Health Center, which opened in 1972 and was among the first places to offer safe and legal abortions in Vermont; Rep. Jill Krowinski, Vermont State Representative and director of public affairs for Vermont  for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England; and Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women and a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, who discusses the state of abortion rights today.