In a vote along party lines, Montana’s Senate moved to advance four pro-life measures, three of which were reintroduced after being previously vetoed by former Governor Steve Bullock last session.
In a 31-19 vote along party lines, Senate Republicans were able to easily overwhelm the protesting Democrats. With the measures already signed off in the House last month, this all but guarantees their smooth passage when the Senate votes on the bills for a third and final time later this week.
The four bills are as follows:
- House Bill 136, sponsored by Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, R-Great Falls, would ban abortion after 20 weeks (a pain-capable bill). There are no exceptions for rape and incest, only for the life of the mother.
- House Bill 167, sponsored by Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, is a ballot initiative requiring doctors and nurses to provide life-saving measures for any children born alive during a botched abortion.
- House Bill 171, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Greef, R-Florence, requires women seeking abortion pills like ‘Plan-B’ to have an in-person visit with a health professional first, visit than a rather than through telehealth.
- House Bill 140, sponsored by Rep. Amy Regier, R-Kalispell requires health care providers to ask abortion-intending pregnant women if they want to see an ultrasound before they pull the proverbial and literal trigger.
Governor Greg Gianforte has already pledged to sign the first two bills once they hit his desk, with the outcome of the other two uncertain, but expected to be approved.
No bills designed to completely abolish abortion in the state were brought forward.
In 2018, there were 1,674 abortions reported in Montana, with girls and young women between the ages of 15-19 accounting for 11%.