HELENA, Montana (LifeSiteNews) — Montana Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed measures into law this week to place new restrictions on abortion facilities and abortion funding, as well as prohibit grisly dismemberment abortion procedures.
HB 544 and 862 bar the use of Medicaid dollars for elective abortions and prohibit state tax dollars from supporting abortions except in cases of babies conceived in rape or incest, or to save a mother’s life. HB 937 imposes new licensing rules and oversight of abortion facilities by the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services.
HB 721 bans the second-trimester dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion procedure, more commonly known as “dismemberment abortion” because it functions by tearing a preborn baby apart limb by limb, for any reason except a medical emergency in which a child would not survive outside the womb.
“I’m proud to round out our legislative session with another suite of pro-life, pro-family bills that protect the lives of unborn babies in Montana,” Gianforte said. “Montanans sent us to Helena to boldly defend life, not send their tax dollars to abortion clinics.” He added that “dismemberment abortion for nontherapeutic or elective reasons is a barbaric practice, dangerous for the mother, and demeaning to the medical profession.”
Abortion defenders have long objected to the “dismemberment” label as inflammatory and misleading, even though the abortion industry itself has effectively admitted its accuracy. The National Abortion Federation’s own instructional materials describe D&E abortion as “grasping a fetal part,” then “withdraw[ing] the forceps while gently rotating it” to achieve “separation.” Notorious late-term abortionist Warren Hern has described it even more candidly: “[T]here is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like an electric current.”
Defenders also claim that dismemberment abortions are the “safest” second-trimester procedure available (for the mother), but pro-lifers have long argued that the real reason abortionists prefer them is because they can fit more into their schedule, and therefore make more money.
The news comes two weeks after Gianforte signed other pro-life measures in the Treasure State, including conscience protection for pro-life health workers, a requirement to care for born-alive infants after botched abortions, mandatory reporting of abortion complications, and a ban on most abortions after 24 weeks.
Fourteen states currently ban all or most abortions, thanks to last summer’s overturn of Roe v. Wade putting abortion back in the hands of the democratic process, but abortion allies are aggressively pursuing a variety of strategies to preserve abortion “access” in the new legal landscape.
Those strategies include easing distribution of abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions, attempting to construct new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.