Pro-life Montanans have been working hard at not only purging pro-choice Democrats from the halls of power, but purging weak-willed Republicans from the Montana GOP party, and businessman-turned-politician Ryan Zinke is sitting squarely down our sights.
Ryan Zinke has been in politics for over a decade and has gained quite a bit of success in doing so, spending four years in the state Senate, a couple of years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the finally another two while serving as United States Secretary of the Interior in the Trump Administration, which he resigned from 2019.
It’s perhaps this reason that the consummate politician could lie so readily to the party faithful gathered at the GOP’s Winter Kick-Off event in Helena last week, affirming to hundreds of people (witnesses) that his voting record is “100 pro-life.”
Is that so?
It is indisputable that Zinke’s record on abortion has been checkered at best and abysmal at worst.
Perhaps he has forgotten or thinks we’ve forgotten that early in his tenure he joined the Democrats in voting AGAINST three critically important pro-life bills.
In 2009, Senate Bill 46 was an amendment designed to codify that “The protection of unborn human life is a compelling state interest.” Zinke voted “Nay” on that one, putting him at odds with his pro-life counterparts and doing this part to ensure the bill died in the House.
That same year there was Senate Bill 406, a Personhood Amendment referendum seeking to amend the constitution to state that life begins at fertilization, which would give babies legal protection at conception and functionally make abortion illegal. Zinke, the “I’m 100% pro-life guy” also voted “no” on this.
In 2011, House Bill 574 was introduced, which was an Amendment to clarify that the Montana Constitution does not grant or secure a right to abortion. Again, Zinke voted “No.”
This is perhaps why in that legislation session, NARAL Pro-Choice Montana gave Zinke a 65% percent approval rating after he voted with them 4 out of 7 times.
This is not to say that Zinke voted with the Democrats on Abortion Bills EVERY SINGLE TIME. There’s been a few occasions where he voted for some bills that we were supportive of, such as something like Senate Bill 97, which would require teenage girls to obtain either parental consent or to appear before a judge in order to have an abortion, as well as voting to defund Planned Parenthood five times. That helps a bit, right?
What we quickly see when Zinke touts his record, however, is that on all the small bills that regulate how and when and where a woman may kill her child, he’s solid. He’ll vote for the small, negligible things. But when it comes to the big bills that say that abortion must not be regulated, but rather be abolished, in order to once and for all save babies from being poisoned, gassed, or dismembered by Montana’s Murder Mills, Zinke’s vote is solidly in the functionally pro-choice camp.
It’s why he once said “I am pro-life, but believe that the difficult decision to abort a child is the providence of God and family, not government” and supports abortion in cases of rape or incest.
If we didn’t know any better, we’d say that Zinke is merely throwing a few scraps to the pro-life movement so he can claim those conservative creds when it comes to fundraising time, or so he can gather before his peers in 2022 and declare that he’s “100 pro-life” in order to secure victory in our newly designated 2nd congressional district.