Montana abortion laws are generally lenient, according to pro-choice activists. The state received an A- grade from NARAL Pro-Choice America
, which ranks states according to their permissive abortion laws. However, certain laws still cause debate.
A bill was passed in the Statehouse in 2015 that would require painkillers be given to the fetus prior to an abortion if the fetus was at 20 weeks gestation or more. Montana’s unborn child pain and suffering prevention act was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
“The intent is very clear,” said Democratic State Rep. Jenny Eck during a floor debate on the issue. “It’s to insert politicians and their political wills into the exam room.”
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“I’m sorry if women’s bodies get in the way of some people’s political beliefs,” Eck said, according to The Washington Post
“I’m sorry that women have autonomy, self-determination and constitutional rights. But that’s the way it is. And until men can carry babies or artificial incubators can build babies, you’re stuck with that reality: that women have our own rights, our own lives, our own wills.”
Republican State Rep. Bill Harris said
: “Whether you call this an unborn fetus or an unborn anything else, it still rises to the level of needing a humane consideration,” RawStory reported.
Although Montana abortion laws are liberal in comparison with other states, pro-life officials continue their efforts for pro-life legislation.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, a pro-life Republican, said during the 2012 campaign
on his website: “I will uphold the oath of office that supports and defends the Constitution of the United States. I will ensure we protect our Second Amendment rights and the rights of those who are most vulnerable in our society, including the preborn, the disabled, and the elderly.”
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Montana U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, a Republican, said
on his website during his campaign for Congress in 2014: “I believe in the value of life. I believe we must prepare our children for tomorrow with the family values of my grandparents. I believe in the value of life. I have fought for that value. I am the only candidate to carry a right to life bill, protecting unborn victims and ensuring that all life should be protected.”
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