Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed five pro-life friendly bills on May 3, including one that observers say will likely lead to a challenge of the state Supreme Court’s 25-year-old ruling supporting a right to a pre-viability abortion.
But amid the bills becoming law, abortion proponents accused the Republican-led legislature and Gianforte of “codifying the cruel and constant Republican attacks on Montanans’ right to access abortion,” even as dozens of other states have sought to limit or eliminate most abortions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
“Montanans sent us to Helena to boldly defend life, not send their tax dollars to abortion clinics,” Gianforte said during a signing ceremony on May 3.
Jeff Laszloffy, a former state legislator and now president of the Montana Family Foundation, said pro-life Montanans would work “until every life is protected, from the moment of conception and until the scourge of abortion is lifted forever from the great state of Montana,” according to the Associated Press.
One notable bill signed by Gianforte directly challenges a 1999 Montana Supreme Court ruling that deemed abortion a part of the state’s provision of a right to privacy.
Gianforte signed other bills:
- Requiring greater documentation and higher health and safety standards for abortion providers
- Prohibiting abortion beyond the stage of viability and requiring an ultrasound before an abortion
- Requiring life-saving care for babies born alive during an abortion procedure
- Protecting the conscience rights of health care providers
“Too often,” Gianforte said, “we lose unborn children because their parents don’t feel ready to welcome their child into the world with the support they need and deserve. Adoption, not abortion, is often the answer.”
On his May 3 podcast briefing, Laszloffy said the legislative session has been “one for the record books,” with a total of 12 life-affirming bills passed as well as legislation reining in what he called the “transgender juggernaut” in Montana public schools.
The most recent session, which adjourned last week, included new laws protecting students from being forced to use preferred gender pronouns and prohibiting so-called “drag queen story hours” in public schools.