Montana Lawmaker Harassed After Floating Pro-Life Bill on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Montana Lawmaker Harassed After Floating Pro-Life Bill on Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 15, 2004

Bozeman, MT ( — A Montana state lawmaker has become a victim of harassment after proposing legislation that would issue death certificates for unborn children who die as a result of abortions.

Newly-elected Bozeman state Rep. Roger Koopman put forward a proposal for the state legislature to consider next session that would change state law to allow for death certificates to be issued for unborn children who died from abortions before 20 weeks into pregnancy.

Current law allows for the certificate to be written only when an unborn child dies after that point.

The proposal has upset abortion advocates, some of whom have resorted to playing juvenile pranks on the legislator.

Koopman filed a report with police in the south central Montana city on Monday after he was the victim of numerous harassing phone calls. Pranksters also phoned local pizza delivery companies and placed fictitious orders bearing his name.

"It is very personal attacks that have nothing to do with the issue, and in many cases people saying things that are completely removed from what this proposed bill is about," he told the Bozeman Chronicle newspaper.

The abuse started about a week ago and has also included harassing mailings. He told the Chronicle some of the notes had "very hateful language."

Koopman says he hopes the proposal will help more women reconsider a decision to have an abortion.

"It’s a small way for our society to acknowledge that a life did exist, even if they didn’t get to see a sunrise or blow out a birthday candle," Koopman told Lee Newspapers.

Jessica Rhoades, executive director of the Montana chapter of NARAL, calls the idea "mean spirited" and predicted it would be defeated.

"Honestly, I don’t think it will be difficult to defeat," she said.