Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte Signs Five Pro-Life Bills to Protect Babies From Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 4, 2023   |   10:27AM   |   Helena, Montana

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signe a set of five pro-life bills to protect babies from abortions. The Montana governor signed five pro-life bills into law and celebrated five additional pro-life measures that are on their way to his desk.

Among the newly passed legislation are measures to strengthen Montana’s law to prevent taxpayer funded abortions, require abortion providers to report women harmed by abortion pills, protect the lives of abortion survivors, require the licensing of abortion facilities, and create an adoption tax credit and a child tax credit for children under the age of six.

Gianforte called the suite of measures “pro-family, pro-child, pro-life bills” that will “make a lasting difference in Montana.” He highlighted SB 154 which clarifies that the right to privacy does not create a right to an abortion as one of the most important bills of the session saying, “For years in Montana, abortion activists have used the cloak of a shaky legal interpretation to advance their pro-abortion agenda. That stops today. No more.”

A representative of a leading pro-life group hailed the governor for standing for life. SBA Pro-Life America’s Western Regional Director Adam Schwend celebrated the news in comments to LifeNews.

“We thank Gov. Gianforte and legislative leaders for establishing new protections for life and support for women that mirror the compassion of their constituents. Today’s advances in Montana are a part of an ongoing post-Dobbs trend to advance human rights in the states and provide mothers with more resources during pregnancy and after a child is born. This progress led by bold state leaders is saving tens of thousands of lives across our nation,” he said.

One of the bills helps stop infanticide and requires medical care for babies who survive abortions.

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Gianforte signed the Infant Care and Safety Act, a bill that protects life by providing legal protections to and ensuring appropriate medical care for children who survive abortions.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Burke applauded the governor’s pro-life actions.

“Every human life is valuable, and every baby deserves to be protected. By enacting this critical legislation, Montana has affirmed the basic human rights of vulnerable children, whether born or unborn,” she told LifeNews.

Burke continued: “The Infant Care and Safety Act provides legal protection for babies who survive abortions, ending the inhumane practice where these children can be left to die without even minimal effort being made to save them. The bill is an important step in advancing human rights and protecting vulnerable babies in Montana.”

“We’re grateful to Gov. Gianforte, Speaker Matt Reiger, the primary sponsor Representative Kerri Seekins-Crowe, and the Montana Legislature for standing for life by enacting this legislation. While other states like California and New York are pushing extreme abortion laws that allow abortion on demand up to birth for any reason, Montana is working to protect vulnerable babies,” she said.

Babies who survive abortions should be treated as “legal persons” with the same rights and protections as anyone else. The act requires health care workers to provide “medically appropriate and reasonable actions to preserve the life and health” of the baby, and imposes criminal penalties on those who neglect to do so.

Little is known about how many babies survive abortions – and how many are left to die without medical care – every year in the United States because few states keep track of such things.

But some do, and recent data from several states suggests dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of babies may survive abortions every year.

Between 2016 and 2018, three states reported 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019. In Michigan, state health reports from 2008 through 2013 indicate that 11 babies were born alive after abortions.

According to the latest abortion report from the Minnesota Department of Health, five babies were born alive in abortions in the state in 2021.

For the past several years, Republicans in Congress have been trying to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would increase protections for babies who survive abortions. The bill would require that the same basic medical care be provided to babies who survive abortions as would be provided to any other baby born at the same gestational age. It also would impose penalties on medical workers who neglect to provide that care. However, Democrat leaders have blocked the legislation dozens of times.

A recent report by Tessa Longbons, a research associate at Charlotte Lozier Institute, found that protections for babies who survive abortions are inconsistent across the United States, with fewer than half of states maintaining sufficient protections.

Reports from other countries prove that babies survive abortions, too, and legal protections for them are needed. In Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Information recorded 766 late-term, live-birth abortions over a five-year period in 2018. And in Australia, the country’s health minister admitted that 27 babies survived abortions in the state of Western Australia between 1999 and 2016. A report out of Ireland also suggests babies are surviving abortions and being left to die there.