The Montana House approved four pro-life bills Monday to protect mothers and babies, born and unborn, from abortions.
KTVQ reports the pro-life bills passed their second reading by a strong majority after pro-lifers held a March for Life outside the state Capitol earlier in the day.
With Republican majorities in both chambers and a new pro-life governor, Greg Gianforte, Montana pro-life leaders hope the bills will become law.
“We have larger Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate than we’ve had in the past, plus we now have a governor that says he is pro-life as well,” Pro-Life Helena President Sharon Nason said, according to the local news. “So we’re now hopeful we’re going to have a different outcome than we’ve had the last 16 years.”
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One bill, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (House Bill 136), would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. Another measure, state House Bill 167, would require that basic medical care be provided to newborn babies who survive abortions.
The other legislation, state House Bills 140 and 171, outline informed consent information that abortion facilities must give women prior to the abortion and increase safety regulations for abortion-inducing drugs. They also would ban abortion drugs in schools and require abortion facilities to report basic information about drug-induced abortions and complications to the state.
The AP reports Gianforte, a pro-life Republican who has vowed to “defend life,” is expected to sign the bills if they reach his desk.
However, abortion advocacy groups quickly criticized lawmakers at a press conference after the vote. Caitlin Borgman, executive director of the America Civil Liberties Union of Montana, slammed the pro-life bills as “the worst kind of government overreach.”
But pro-life laws do save lives, and polls consistently show that Americans support strong limits on abortion. A 2020 Gallup poll found 55 percent of Americans wanting all (21 percent) or almost all (39 percent) abortions to be illegal. In contrast, 43 percent of Americans said they want all (29 percent) or almost all (14 percent) abortions to be legal.