The Republican governor of Montana signed five pieces of pro-life legislation into law on Wednesday, stating, “Montanans sent us to Helena to boldly defend life, not send their tax dollars to abortion clinics.”
Gov. Greg Gianforte added: “Montanans’ hard-earned money should not be used by the government to fund elective abortions.”
“This package of pro-family, pro-child, pro-life bills will make a lasting difference in Montana. We couldn’t have done it alone, and I just want to thank the thousands of Montanans throughout the state who made their voices heard and made today possible,” the governor said.
The legislation strengthens Montana law to prevent taxpayer dollars from paying for elective abortions.
According to the governor’s office, “the package defends life, protecting babies born alive following a botched abortion, restricting dismemberment abortion of babies, and prohibiting the abortion of viable babies, unless necessary to protect the life of the mother.”
One of the bills signed into law on Wednesday, SB 154, sponsored by Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, “clarifies the right to privacy in the Montana Constitution does not mean the right to an abortion.”
“Senator Regier’s Senate Bill 154 was one of the most important bills brought this session. 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,” Gianforte said.
There are five other pro-life bills awaiting action from Gianforte, according to the governor’s office.
Pro-life advocates applauded the move, praising the governor for standing up for life.
“We thank Gov. Gianforte and legislative leaders for establishing new protections for life and support for women that mirror the compassion of their constituents,” Adam Schwend, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s Western regional director, said in a statement.
“[Wednesday’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,” he added. “This progress led by bold state leaders is saving tens of thousands of lives across our nation.”
Dobbs is a reference to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court case decided last year that effectively overturned Roe v. Wade and gave states more say in crafting their own abortion laws.
Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, the grassroots arm of The Heritage Foundation, applauded the governor’s actions. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“As the Left pushes for a radical pro-abortion, anti-child agenda across the nation, Gov. Greg Gianforte decided to push back, signing five bills aimed at defending unborn lives in Montana,” Anderson said. “Montana has continued the nationwide momentum of states championing pro-life and pro-family values in a time where they’re needed the most, including defending babies born alive after botched abortions and protecting the rights of medical providers who refuse to perform abortions.”
“These bills make clear the absolute truth that every life is worth saving, especially those of innocent unborn children,” Anderson said.
But pro-abortion groups accused Gianforte of putting women’s health at risk.
“These laws have the potential to harm thousands of Montanans and people across our region who have already been forced to travel to Montana for care,” claimed Martha Fuller, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana president and CEO. Fuller’s statement does not address specifics about the bills that would jeopardize women’s health.
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