Montana And North Carolina Advance ‘Born Alive’ Abortion Restrictions

Screenshot/Facebook/Governor Greg Gianforte

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Two GOP- led state legislatures have advanced legislation that tightens restrictions on abortion with new “born alive” provisions that have enough support to override Democratic opposition.

The legislation in both states is similar to other “born alive” bills in state legislatures throughout the country that seek to protect fetuses from being aborted. Montana’s laws will take effect July 1; North Carolina’s bills are yet to pass the state legislature, though are likely to do so because Republicans hold a veto-proof majority.

In Montana, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed five bills on Wednesday that would impose abortion restrictions. House Bill 544, the first bill signed, restricts Medicaid funding for abortion to only those procedures required to protect the life of the mother or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and only to such procedures performed by a physician. House Bill 862 bans public funding for any abortion in the state except those meeting these requirements.

Infant Safety and Care Act (Montana) by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

House Bill 625, known as the “Infant Safety and Care Act,” is legislation that requires doctors to preserve the life of a child born following an attempted abortion, similar to a measure that Montana voters rejected in 2022. It mirrors several “born alive” bills passed by other Republican-led states and one passed by the current GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives.

Additionally, House Bill 575 sets the threshold for abortion in all cases across the state at the viability of the fetus’s survival outside the mother’s womb, which it states is “presumed at 24 weeks gestational age,” though this may be determined by the physician under the law. House Bill 721 bans any “dismemberment abortion procedure,” i.e., involving the mutilation of a fetus to proceed with an abortion when they have grown too large to be removed by other means, with criminal penalties for medical personnel who violate the law.

“With these bills, Republicans are supporting government overreach into our most intimate decision-making,” the Montana House Democrats wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 20, a measure that would ban any abortion procedure in the state past 12 weeks of pregnancy, down from the state’s 20-week limit, with few exceptions. The bill would also ban any “partial-birth” abortion as defined in federal law, which would prevent the abortion of an otherwise viable fetus by removing the fetus from the womb partially, with the purpose of terminating its life.

Moreover, it would impose strict consent requirements for any “surgical abortion” performed by a physician, requiring the mother to approve a doctor’s medical judgment that an abortion is necessary before it proceeds. It would also pass a “Born Alive Survivors Protection Act” similar to Montana’s bill. Voting in favor was Republican state Rep. Tricia Cotham, a former Democrat who crossed the floor to join the Republican caucus in April, giving the GOP a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state legislature.

Care for Women, Children, And Families Act by Daily Caller News Foundation on Scribd

Democrats have strongly opposed the measure, arguing that legislators didn’t have time to review the bill as it was made public “less than 24 hours” before it was passed, according to Democratic state Rep. Jeff Jackson, while large protests were held near legislative precincts on Wednesday.

The North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Dickman didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for a comment.

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