Montana legislators voted along party lines Thursday to approve four new pieces of pro-life legislation.
Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte promised to sign two of the bills into law during his State of the State address in January, according to the Helena Independent Record. Pro-life lawmakers had previously been stonewalled by Democratic governors, according to the Independent Record, but Gianforte became the state’s first Republican Governor in 16 years in January of this year.
The Montana Senate on Thursday in party-line votes gave initial approval to four bills that would change access to abortions in the state. https://t.co/IMc9R9nZjS
— Billings Gazette (@billingsgazette) February 25, 2021
The two bills Gianforte has vowed to sign are the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortion after twenty weeks, and the Montana Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which would put to voters a referendum requiring medical care to be provided to babies who survive abortion attempts. The governor’s office reportedly expressed support for a separate but similar bill from Sen. David Howard, which has yet to pass, that would bypass a referendum and take effect upon being signed by the governor.
The other two bills passed Thursday include the Protecting Women from Chemical Abortion Act, which enacts safeguards for women consuming “abortion-inducing drugs,” and an informed consent law, which requires ultrasounds for women before they can get an abortion, according to a release from the pro-life Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List. (RELATED: Here’s What’s In The Equality Act)
“We are thrilled to see Montana enact strong laws to protect unborn children and their mothers,” said SBA List state policy director Sue Liebel. “With pro-life Governor Greg Gianforte at the helm, our pro-life allies in the Montana Legislature worked swiftly to advance these pro-life protections, which reflect the will of the people.”
Democratic lawmakers who objected to the bill said state and federal laws already protect infants and that the government shouldn’t interfere in the difficult decision to get an abortion. “Legislators should not be interfering with such a challenging and heartbreaking decision,” said Democratic Sen. Janet Ellis. “This decision needs to be made by individuals involved and their health care provider. Period.”