UPDATE, 2/15/21: According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, another abortion-related bill has been passed in the House. House Bill 299 “would prohibit health insurance plans offered through the Montana health insurance exchange from covering abortion services.”
1/29/21: Four major pro-life bills in Montana will advance to the state Senate since their passage by the Montana House of Representatives on January 25th.
The pro-life legislation includes the following bills:
- HB-136: The Montana Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after the preborn baby reaches 20 weeks. (Recent scientific research has shown that preborn babies may be able to experience pain as early as the end of the first trimester, as Live Action News has reported.)
- HB-167: The Montana Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which would put a measure on the next statewide ballot requiring physicians to provide care for babies who survive abortion.
- HB-171: Montana Abortion-Inducing Drug Risk Protocol, which would restrict access to the abortion pill.
- HB-140: Require Provision of Information Before the Performance of an Abortion via Ultrasound, which would mandate that women receive an ultrasound prior to abortion.
Sue Liebel, State Policy Director for Susan B. Anthony List, hailed the bills’ advancement. “Montana is finally on track to become the 24th state to stop gruesome late-term abortions after five months, a point by which unborn babies feel pain inside the womb,” she said, according to Susan B. Anthony List. “Legislators are also moving to protect women and ensure mothers have all the information they need prior to making a decision on abortion.”
Laura Terrill, with Planned Parenthood of Montana, falsely claimed that the bills “are not in fact about the health and safety of women, because none of them will actually make the need for abortion go away,” as reported by Montana Public Radio. But Pro-life state Rep. Matt Regier framed the legislation as fundamental to Montanans’ values: “Every once in a while, we get an issue that defines us down to the core of who we are. And I believe that is this issue.”
Over the past 16 years, pro-life legislation has failed to become law in Montana in part due to a lack of support from pro-abortion governors. Yet as Pro-Life Helena president Sharon Nason pointed out, according to KTVH, newly elected Governor Greg Gianforte has declared his support for the pro-life movement, and both houses of the legislature have large pro-life majorities.
“So we’re now hopeful we’re going to have a different outcome than we’ve had the last 16 years,” Nason said.
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